The Scots ran in eight tries in Saturday’s comprehensive 52-29 triumph over the Pumas, who played close to an hour with 14 men due to a red card and had three further players booked. It allowed Scotland to be at their creative best, with a talismanic performance from stand-off Finn Russell and a hat-trick of scores from in-form winger Darcy Graham. The result also boosted Scottish morale as they bounced back from the painful loss to New Zealand six days earlier and Van der Merwe, who was also on the scoresheet, feels ambitions should be high when Scotland travel to France for the 2023 World Cup despite a tough group including reigning champions South Africa and Ireland.
"It's obviously win the World Cup,” Van der Merwe replied when asked what a realistic ambition in 2023 should be for this Scotland team. “I truly believe we are capable of that. There are obviously bits to work on but we are all positive and we know we can compete. We've got a pretty tough pool – Ireland and South Africa is not going to be easy – but we know we can beat them.
"The boys are on fire at the moment. Being around for the last three years and watching Scotland before, I think the depth Scotland has at the moment might be the best there's ever been, which is a big positive. On a Tuesday or Wednesday, we call them the muggies, the non-23, they make it really tough for us. That just shows the depth of our squad at the moment. If someone gets injured, someone else comes in and gets the opportunity and we know they'll do the job.”
Beating Argentina at BT Murrayfield allowed Scotland to finish off their Autumn Nations Series matches with two wins (Fiji and Argentina) and two narrow defeats (Australia and New Zealand). The national team are next in action on Saturday, February 4 when they begin their Six Nations campaign against England at Twickenham, with the next home match seven days later when Wales visit Edinburgh in the same competition.