Three things we learned from Scotland 19 - 16 Argentina

Duncan Smith looks back at Scotland's last-gasp victory against Argentina in the autumn Tests

Scotland emerged victorious from the tightly fought contest. Picture: SNS
Scotland emerged victorious from the tightly fought contest. Picture: SNS

Scotland can close a deal...just

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That is the main tick to take out of what Vern Cotter described as a “dour” affair as Scotland got a win that could prove vital in the quest to avoid being outside the top two pots for the World Cup draw. That said, it was a close run thing and Scotland won’t always get four opportunities to win a game in the last ten minutes, with Greig Laidlaw hitting the post with a penalty and Finn Russell two drop goal attempts before the skipper finally nailed the winning 83rd-minute kick. Credit, though, to the Scots for keeping their composure and the belief that they could carve out one last chance.

Drop goals still have their place

With so much emphasis on try bonus points in the club game, the drop goal has become a bit of a lost art over the years. However, in close Test matches they can still be a valuable route to crucial points that can prove the difference between a win, loss or draw. Finn Russell showed his inexperience at executing the skill and perhaps needs to watch some old tapes of someone like John Rutherford, who along with the current skipper’s Uncle Roy Laidlaw, were masters at setting up and converting drop goals at crucial stages of the game.

The kids are alright

In what was a tough and physical contest it was heartening that some of the best performers on the pitch were the younger members of the team. The novice props Allan Dell and Zander Fagerson held up well against the formidable Pumas scrum and young flanker Hamish Watson delivered another impressive performance. Lock Jonny Gray seems almost like a veteran now but is still only 22 and was a worthy man of the match. Blindside flanker Magnus Bradbury got 50 minutes and didn’t look out of place on debut. Encouraging signs all round.

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