Scotland Rugby tour seen as a pass despite 2-1 Los Pumas series

Scotland Rugby tour
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Of course, you wouldn’t be happy with a 2-1 result, however, the Scotland Rugby tour has to be seen as a pass despite Argentina securing their last-gasp win last weekend.

With all but a few players and management now back into a warm summer climate, they themselves have to be pleased with the positives discovered on tour. The second Test match win is an obvious highlight, though key stakeholders will know that it is a point where the future of this group can be traced from here.

Argentina will feel they completed the task of recovering a tied series. It has to be their case for claiming the authoritative position. True. Full credit must be given, as when pressure was applied, Los Pumas responded. Every highlights package shows how the final quarter was owned by the host nation.

So for Scottish supporters to drill down a little deeper, to see the evidence that a losing side can still return home holding their heads high.

Scotland Rugby tour seen as a pass despite 2-1 Los Pumas series

Each Test match had a different outcome, yet as a combined effort, few would argue that this Scotland Rugby tour included many more positives than negatives which must be absorbed. Everything from the combined scoreline, attack, and especially the names who displayed their worth.

Gregor Townsend is the best to describe what he viewed from the coach’s box. And as more analysis and dissection occur, his comments should become more specific, as the tour is broken down into its elements and returns on the group’s goals.

The immediate reactions have been replaced now by a thorough detailing of what, who, and how. of where they excelled, as well as areas of improvement – a natural reaction, yet necessary as the players take a much-needed summer break ahead of domestic demands.

If counted by scoreline, Scotland should be proud of their aggregate of 78 points. 12 more than their opponent (66), and more than comparable International sides; England, Ireland, and Wales. Scoring more tries too, that bodes well for the attacking play which (some believe) Northern Hemisphere teams lack. Well, no more.

Yet the manner in which points were scored can only cover so much. Defensive errors, and some inexplicable decisions not to take available points when required, may be seen as areas to focus on. Scoring can get you so far, it is the ability to defend and maintain a lead that Townsend will want to improve.

The example being the third and deciding Test. Holding the lead, the second half saw a leak of points begin to flood. Substitutions are supposed to bring more impetuous, it was just not the impact Scottish fans hope. On this occasion, their opponents ran in three tries that disrupted the visitors goals. They crumbled, and the lesson of that capitulation must not be lost.

Explaining to BBC Sport, Townsend¬†accepted that Scotland ‘should have won’. He said,¬†“I’m disappointed for the players because it was a chance for a historic win. There were chances to be more accurate with our exits in the last five minutes. If we hadn’t been held up over the line it is different.

“It’s the players that count, and you can see from their reactions how much it means to them”.

Knowing the way games were lost can lead to remedies that can sustain future performances. The forwards must hold some responsibility, and for the majority, they played their hearts out. Jonny Gray will never stop hitting the tacklers, in a way that resembles a Martin Johnson-esque quality.

So when the group resumes International duties in November, plenty of ‘work ons’ will be high on the list of areas to focus on. Though the good outweighs the bad.

Build a foundation on positives from Scotland Rugby tour

“There was a lot to be proud of,” Townsend said. “This experience is invaluable for our players. It’s now up to them to drive themselves in pre-season to be here in the autumn. We have to be better for those games.”

The men who scored the points can also be recognized. None more so than Blair Kinghorn. His haul of four conversions and a penalty in the second Test at the Santiago del Estero, was a premier display from the Edinburgh man. Such a shame that the tour which quite rightly seals his name as [potentially] the first-five eighth who could direct the side in Paris, was unable to help his side win the final game.

With the talisman Finn Russell recovering, the options open to the Scotland team now are an improvement on their roster. Using a wider group will enable Scotland the ability to pick on form, as well as on how the balance of the side works. When Stuart Hogg is available, the back three can rely on his stability, while the individual brilliance of a Duhan Van Der Merwe means a longer kicking game could be a strength when the side plays different teams.

The key to continuing on positive results is, that the team does not sit and self-analyze to the ‘nth degree. They should pack those away, looking at the key performance indicators that are mostly in the green, so that can allow the side to work more on new strategies and adapt to the differing opposition when they must bring the game that best suits Scotland’s needs.

To play the men in front of you, by using all the knowledge gained from a strong tour of Argentina.

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Looking towards the Autumn, Scotland faces Argentina again. That will be a nice way to bookend these results – defeat Los Pumas in November, and the Scotland Rugby tour this summer will be affirmed as a success. They also play Australia, Fiji, and the biggest test, against New Zealand at home.

“Main photo credit courtesy of Scottish Rugby twitter page