Scotland’s 14-9 victory over Argentina will certainly not go down as a classic but does secure a solid finish to an eventful year for the thistle. Murrayfield, the home ground of Scottish rugby, set a wet and miserable backdrop for the final game of the autumn series for Scotland, in a match where the weather largely fitted the brand of rugby on the pitch.
Argentina, realising that simply running at the Scottish defence was in vain, quickly developed an up and under kicking brand of rugby in the hope that they would cause handling errors from the Scots in and amongst the showery climate.
This proved fruitful at first, with Stuart Hogg, Scotland’s full-back being caught exposed all too often for his liking, causing a slip of the tongue at one moment. This was rather comically picked up by the referee’s microphone, an ill-spoken summary of a frustrating first half for the Scots.
Penalty exchanges from Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw and Argentina’s Nicolas Sanchez saw Scotland edge the first half to lead 6-3 at the break, with many a fan believing that this may be the first game which Scotland were not going to score a try in since June 2016.
The three-point gap was quickly chalked off through Sanchez’s boot early in the second half, with Laidlaw responding once again to maintain the lead for Scotland.
With 15 minutes to go the game looked set to finish in uninspiring fashion, with both sides try lines barely featuring in TV pictures throughout the game. Enter to the fray Stuart Hogg, whose brilliant bark toward Greig Laidlaw sparked a move which saw Scotland take the ball along the blindside. A simple two on one led to winger Sean Maitland crossing the Argentinian line for the opening score of the game. Bedlam ensued from the stands.
Textbook game management from Scotland saw the game close out at 14-9. Victory, on this occasion, was the Scots.
For many of the players inside the Scotland camp, this result would be one of severe frustration. On another occasion, had Nicolas Sanchez had his usual kicking boots on, Argentina would’ve likely had nudged over an additional 12 points. Scotland, for large parts, were succumbed to the whirlwind effect of Argentina’s game plan, who wanted a scrappy contest, and received this in large parts.