SALTA, Argentina (Reuters) – Scotland’s forwards laid the foundation for a rousing 29-6 win over Argentina in Saturday’s second check in Salta to the delight of coach Gregor Townsend.
Strong particular person performances within the pack ensured not solely that Scotland levelled the sequence, after a limp exhibiting within the first check, however additionally they stored Argentina’s a lot vaunted assault from scoring in a dogged defensive show.
Two of the 4 Scottish tries got here from unfastened forwards Hamish Watson, marking his fiftieth cap, and Matt Fagerson.
“Our set piece, specifically our scrum and maul, was robust. We weren’t at all times profitable penalties however I felt we had an edge in these two areas and that provides a psychological enhance to the remainder of the crew,” Townsend instructed reporters.
“The Argentinian defence at instances was extra unfold out, which stopped us taking part in a wider recreation within the first half. We turned extra direct within the second half and that introduced reward by way of our forwards but in addition our centres working exhausting.”
Scotland’s different two tries got here from the centre pairing of Mark Bennett and Sam Johnson.
“It was a giant step up from final week,” Townsend stated of the 26-18 defeat in San Salvador de Jujuy within the first check.
“I’m actually happy with the response, the character that was on present and, specifically, the way in which we defended our strive line.
“We know that Argentina might have scored one or two tries, however the effort to get again and dislodge ball is a giant a part of our DNA in order that was nice to see.”
The Scotland coach warned there was extra to return from his squad, who’re touring with out regulars like captain Stuart Hogg, mercurial flyhalf Finn Russell and robust centre Chris Harris – who have been all British & Irish Lions final 12 months.
“There’s a whole lot of togetherness within the squad, it’s a gaggle that cares about one another and taking part in for their nation,” Townsend added.
“We knew we’d get a response this week. The manner the gamers have skilled, how dedicated they have been to bettering.
“We are scratching the floor with that efficiency, we’ll be working to convey our greatest efficiency subsequent week.”
The final check is on Saturday at Santiago del Estero.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)