Scotland, led well by Finn Russell, beat Argentina, who suffered the expulsion of Marcos Kremer after 23 minutes and lack of driving throughout the game. Loose end of the season for Los Pumas. Scotland 52 – Argentina 29.
On one side, reason, on the other, unreason, nonsense. On the one hand, a brilliant player who supplies the seasoning he needs at every moment of the game, on the other, a player who, in a fit of irresponsibility, wastes the previous effort and complicates the subsequent game of his fourteen teammates. In a quick simplification, Finn Russell and Marcos Kremer explain the game that closed out Los Pumas’ 2022 season.
The game that was played until the expulsion of Kremer was much more promising than the boring clash a week ago against Wales. Scotland tried to play, with Russell fulfilling the role of driver, as he knows, very well accompanied by Stuart Hogg and a well-placed line (both wings were brilliant) to arrive with good running angles to the game launched by the talented players. On the Argentine side, the team looked concentrated, without committing penalties and defending with great authority. To highlight in this area a play of many phases that reached the gates of the Argentine ingoal and ended with a good catch by Pablo Matera. The two teams were trying to play hands. Sione Tuipulotu had supported a try, after Russell’s cunning opened a hole in the Argentine defense and Jerónimo de la Fuente another, after a good intervention by Tomás Lavanini who picked up a ball and gave continuity to the game. But the unreason appeared in Murrayfield. Kremer came in to clear up a ruck with excessive and unnecessary vehemence and slammed his arm into Jamie Ritchie’s head. Red card and start of another game.
A minute after the expulsion came Duhan Van der Merwe’s try, after another brilliant action by Russell, as if to clearly oppose skill and talent to Kremer’s irrationality. To make matters worse, in that fragment after the expulsion, Santiago Carreras, deciding and executing badly with his foot, handed the ball over to Scotland. But in the last minutes of the first half, Argentina was able to play on the Scottish field thanks to the indiscipline of the locals: three penalties and Los Pumas, with good judgment, went to the line in two and, in the third, at 5 yards, decided to play , pick and go and try by Matías Alemanno to close the first stage close on the scoreboard.
After refreshing ideas in the dressing room, Scotland, always hand in hand with Russell, did things well again and took a quick advantage until, once again, irrationality sang present in Edinburgh. Yellow cards for Lavanini and Alemanno, 15 against 12 and the game ended up distorting. Even the cardo players were in disarray, allowing a try by Emiliano Boffelli after a counter by Matías Orlando, one of the few outstanding players in Argentina. But in the chaos, Russell kept thinking and Scotland extended the lead, even as the two booked again and also when more yellows came, this time to Ritchie and Thomas Gallo, after a skirmish involving all players. The final balance of the Argentine unreason was three yellow and one red. But there was not only an absence of reflection in the disciplinary aspect, but also in management and decision-making. Black night for Santiago Carreras in the use of his foot, which is really worrying because today the season ended and the Cordovan experiment with number 10 closes with a negative balance. There are very few opportunities left, just 4 games, to try from here to the World Cup and the owner of such an important position does not appear, because the entry of Nicolás Sánchez in the last fifteen minutes was not good either. Scotland today put a mirror in front to understand how decisive it is to play with a judicious 10.
The last 15 minutes ended up unbalancing the match in favor of Scotland, which continued to take advantage of the good performance of its backs (Darcy Graham unstoppable, supported three tries). Orlando, Juan Martín González, Bautista Delguy and Ignacio Ruiz who had a good income, are the ones who saved the clothes on a lazy night for the Argentine team.
After the match Michael Cheika focused on individual mistakes: “The second half, being 15 against 14 or against 13, we made mistakes that cannot be made. Kicking penalties four times and leaving them inside cannot be done. Decisions were made that were not right.” The November window started auspiciously in Twickenham, but it leaves a bitter taste in the bottom line. A year closes with some interesting advances but also with several unresolved items, above all the need to think about the parties. Today Finn Russell gave a lecture in that regard. He worries that now the players are leaving for their clubs and they will not see each other for eight months. Only in July will they come together again to face the limited Rugby Championship and the test against South Africa, which are the 4 games remaining before the World Cup. It is imperative that Cheika and his staff plan the 2023 season in the best way to use the available time rationally and find the answer to the questions that remained pending at the end of the 2022 season.
Scotland: Pierre Schoeman, Fraser Brown, and Zander Fagerson; Jonny Gray and Grant Gilchrist; Matt Fagerson, Jamie Ritchie (captain) and Jack Dempsey; Ali Price and Finn Russell; Duhan van der Merwe, Chris Harris, Darcy Graham, and Stuart Hogg.
Subs: ST, 12m, Ben White for Ali Price; 16m, George Turner by Fraser Brown; 19m, Andy Christie by Jack Dempsey; 21m, Cameron Redpath by Chris Harris; 26m, Jamie Bhatti by Pierre Schoeman and Murphy Walker by Zander Fagerson; 31m, Blair Kinghorn by Duhan van der Merwe, and 35m, Glen Young by Grant Gilchrist.
Coach: Gregor Townsend.
Argentina: Thomas Gallo, Julián Montoya (captain) and Eduardo Bello; Matías Alemanno and Tomás Lavanini; Juan Martín González, Marcos Kremer (R) and Pablo Matera; Gonzalo Bertranou and Santiago Carreras; Emiliano Boffelli, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Matías Orlando, Bautista Delguy and Juan Cruz Mallía.
Substitutions: ST, 10m, Lucas Paulos for Jerónimo de la Fuente; 16m, Santiago Medrano by Eduardo Bello; 20m, Nicolás Sánchez by Santiago Carreras and Matías Moroni by Tomás Lavanini; 23m, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro by Bautista Delguy; 24m, Ignacio Ruiz by Julián Montoya; 35m, Facundo Isa by Thomas Gallo, and 36m, Lautaro Bazán Vélez by Gonzalo Bertranou.
Coaches: Michael Cheika, Felipe Contepomi, Andrés Bordoy, Juan M. Fernández Lobbe and David Kidwell
First half: 2m, penalty by Emiliano Boffelli (LP); Sione Tuipulotu’s try converted by Finn Russell (E); 16m, try by Jerónimo de la Fuente (LP); 24m, Duhan van der Merwe’s try converted by Finn Russell (E); 27m, try by Darcy Graham (E); 39m try by Matías Alemanno converted by Emiliano Boffelli (LP).
Incidence: 23m, expelled Marcos Kremer (LP).
Partial result: Scotland 19 vs Los Pumas 15.
Second half: 2m, try by Darcy Graham (E); 12m, try by Emiliano Boffelli converted by himself (LP); 15m, try by Sione Tuipulotu converted by Finn Russell (E); 28m, Cameron Redpath try converted by Finn Russell (E); 34m, try by Stuart Hogg converted by Finn Russell (E); 37m, try by Darcy Graham converted by Finn Russell (E), and 40m, try by Ignacio Ruiz converted by Nicolás Sánchez (LP).
Incidents: 9m, reprimanded Matías Alemanno (LP); 10m, reprimanded Tomás Lavanini (LP), and 22m, reprimanded Thomas Gallo (LP) and Jamie Ritchie and 83m, reprimanded Sione Tuipulotu (E).
Final result: Scotland 52 vs Los Pumas 29.
Referee: Karl Dickson (England).
Source: UAR Press