Scotland too strong for Pumas

2014-11-08 22:28
Richie Gray (Getty Images)

Edinburgh - Brothers Richie and Jonny Gray paved the way for Scotland's first home win against Argentina for 24 years, marking their first game of rugby alongside one another with their country's opening two tries in what was ultimately a convincing 41-31 victory.

The Pumas arrived in Edinburgh on a high following their maiden Rugby Championship win against Australia in Mendoza last month but, despite making a flying start, Daniel Hourcade's side were unable to stretch their winning streak on Scottish soil to six matches.

For Vern Cotter, in charge of his first home game as Scotland head coach, it was a second victory in five months against Argentina, following a 21-19 win in Cordoba in June.

It was inspired, to a large degree, by the dynamic influence of Cotter's scrum half and captain, Greig Laidlaw, who fashioned all four of his side's tries and kicked four conversions and a penalty.

There were just two minutes on the clock when Argentina struck. Openside flanker Javier Ortega Desio picked up a loose ball on the left wing and galloped 55 metres to score a try that was converted by fly-half Nicolas Sanchez.

It was a nightmare start for Scotland but in the sixth minute they levelled the scores at 7-7.

From a ruck just inside the Argentina 22m line, Laidlaw and Sean Maitland shipped the ball right and lock Richie Gray forced his way through a defensive gap for his second try for his country. Laidlaw, Scotland's captain and scrum-half, landed the conversion.

A Sanchez penalty pushed the Pumas into a 10-7 lead in the 16th minute but, after Laidlaw had struck the posts with an attempt at the other end, Argentina were forced to make a change in personnel, the injured blindside flanker Rodrigo Baez making way for Facundo Isa.

The visitors were also a man down in the 21st minute when winger Juan Imoff was yellow carded for obstructing Tommy Seymour. Scotland exploited the numerical advantage with two converted tries in the space of two minutes.

First, in the 23rd minute, Laidlaw fed Gray's younger brother and fellow second row, Jonny, for a score on the left.

Then the razor sharp Laidlaw caught Argentina napping, taking a quick tap penalty and launching a mazy run before releasing wing Sean Maitland for a try in the right corner.

A Laidlaw penalty extended their lead to 24-10 before the interval and then, seven minutes into the second half, the Gloucester scrum-half made a lightning break from a ruck to set up fullback Stuart Hogg for a try in the right corner.

Laidlaw squeezed over the touchline conversion and landed a long range penalty to take his tally for the afternoon to 14 points before departing to a huge ovation in the 64th minute.

It was a contribution that hauled the former Edinburgh captain past Dan Parks and Andy Irvine into third place among Scotland's all time points scorers. He now has 276 and stands behind only Chris Paterson (809) and Gavin Hastings (667).

Seymour added a fifth try for Scotland in the 71st minute while Argentina salvaged a measure of pride with three tries in the final ten minutes - a penalty try plus a brace by replacement scrum half Tomas Cubelli.


Tries: Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour
Conversions: Greig Laidlaw (4), Duncan Weir
Penalties: Laidlaw (2)

Tries: Javier Ortega Desio, Tomás Cubelli (2), penalty try
Conversions: Juan Martín Hernández (3), Nicolás Sánchez
Penalty: Sánchez

15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson

Substitutes: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Alasdair Strokosch, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Sean Lamont

15 Joacquín Tuculet, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Rodrigo Báez, 5 Juan Cruz Guillemaín, 4 Tomás Lavanini, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Matías Cortese, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Lucas Ponce, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Horacio Agulla

Read more on:    argentina  |  scotland  |  rugby

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