Argentina 14 Scotland 26: Hadden happy with win but late try could cost Scots dear

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The Independent Online

The Scotland coach, Frank Hadden, praised his young squad after this impressive victory in Buenos Aires over the side who finished third in last year's World Cup. The Edinburgh winger Chris Paterson, who was winning a record 88th cap, kicked six goals from six attempts to secure Scotland's first win in Argentina and end an 18-year wait for a victory over the Pumas.

Hadden was pleased with the way Scotland put their first-Test defeat in Rosario behind them. "We are delighted," he said. "After the frustration of last week [when Scotland lost 16-10] it is testament to the confidence and self-belief in the whole squad. I was pleased with the way we performed in some aspects last week, but we just didn't get the win.

"We had the youngest squad in the World Cup, we were the youngest in the Six Nations and we have had an even younger squad for this tour."

Scotland had a 16-0 lead at the break, thanks to a try from the hooker Ross Ford, set up by Paterson and the scrum-half Mike Blair, and Paterson's boot. The Glasgow centre Graeme Morrison scored another try in the second half but the Pumas pressed to get back into the game in front of a passionate crowd and eventually scored two tries of their own.

The first Argentina try was scored, after a fine counter-attack, by the Sale flanker Juan Fernandez Lobbe, who had shown his emotions during the anthems before the start of the game as he embraced his brother, the lock forward Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, who was playing his final Test before concentrating on club duties with Northampton. The experienced fly-half Frederico Todeschini's conversion of the younger Fernandez Lobbe's try sparked a real fightback and the Treviso wing Lucas Borges went close, only to have a try ruled out by the television match official.

Scotland, leading 19-7 thanks to a fourth Paterson penalty, responded well with a break by the replacement fly-half Dan Parks, leading to a Morrison try. Paterson converted and the Scottish defence then held out well. However, a second Pumas try, by the wing Horacio Agulla, arrived in the last minute of the match.

Agulla's effort was too late to affect the result but, with another conversion from Todeschini, it did deny the Scots the 15-point margin of victory that would have maintained their second-seed status for the next World Cup draw. As things stand, the Scots will go into the third pot of the draw for the tournament in New Zealand in 2011, which will be based on the current IRB world rankings. Scotland are 10th, a place behind Fiji, and could face two of the top five teams in the world in their pool. Argentina are third.

"It is important not to underestimate the size of the achievement," Hadden said. "We were the only northern hemisphere [nation] winning against a southern hemisphere [nation] today and that was against the third-best rugby country in the world.

"The main reason for the win was the three weeks of preparation, the sort of preparation that we didn't have for the Six Nations. That allowed us to get a certain level of organisation, especially defensively. Although we were here to win, we still have got to do defence development and also give opportunities for certain players to show what they are capable of doing at this level."

Blair, Scotland's captain, who was making his 50th appearance, said that the victory had capped a memorable day.

"We were more intense and more precise and we played a quicker ball in the dangerous areas," he said. "It is a very proud day for me because it is my 50th Test. It wouldn't mean anything if we didn't win the game, but we did."

Argentina: B Stortoni (Glasgow); L Borges (Treviso), G Tiesi (Harlequins), F Contepomi (Leinster, capt), H Agulla (Hindu); F Todeschini (Montpellier), N Vergallo (Jockey Club Rosario); M Ayerza (Leicester), A Tejeda (Overmach Parma), S Gonzalez Bonarino (Capitolina), I Fernandez Lobbe (Northampton), E Lozada (Toulon), M Durand (Champagnat), J Fernandez Lobbe (Sale), J M Leguizamon (London Irish). Replacements: F Martin Aramburu (Perpignan) for Tiesi, 12; J Gomez (Leinster) for Gonzalez Bonarino, 45; A Galindo (Beziers) for Durand, 60; J Stuart (CASI) for Lozada, 60.

Scotland: H Southwell (Edinburgh); C Paterson (Edinburgh), B Cairns (Edinburgh), G Morrison (Glasgow), S Webster (Edinburgh); P Godman (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh, capt); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), M Mustchin (Edinburgh), S MacLeod (Llanelli Scarlets), A Strokosch (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow), A Hogg (Edinburgh). Replacements: A Kellock (Glasgow) for MacLeod, 60; D Parks (Glasgow) for Godman, 65; K Brown (Glasgow) for Hogg, 69; D Hall (Glasgow) for Ford, 75.

Referee: A Rolland (Ireland).

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