Monday, 26 September 2011

Pool B: Argentina v Scotland

Slugso says:

I only bought tickets to this game a few days earlier, and roped some mates in. We went along knowing that the Scots and Pumas are probably pretty evenly matched, but given they both needed maximum points from this game to secure progression to the knockout stages, we were expecting the game to by a little looser, or more expansive.

We were happily proven wrong when a game of Test Match rugby invaded the pitch.

The Cake Tin was nowhere near full last night, but the screaming Tartan Army and the insanely vocal (and pogoing) Argentinian fans crammed together and created an atmosphere equal to 40,000 punters. I think it also raised the temperature in there a degrees or two which was much appreciated.

Scotland? Well, I just don’t get them. This must be so frustrating for their fans. I know they have very small player numbers and few clubs domestically to select from, but they have some class players, and some enormous athletes ... yet it just looks so rudderless and pedestrian. Their big, rugged and mobile pack can get good ball for the backs, but then it just seems to go wrong? Is there really another Home Nation that could benefit more from a new Head Coach or at least a  decent backs coach? Andy Robinson was not the answer; they need to look further South.

Argentina can and did rumble it up as well. Look at the numbers in the graphic and you can see this game was battled out in the middle portion of the park. The Pumas really only went wide at the end when they had to ... and that finish on Amorosino’s try was a beauty! He escaped two tackles and weaved away from three other Scottish defenders, with no room outside him to score a five pointer that sent the Pumas fans into raptures.

Clearly the wet and cold conditions meant the game was going to be tight, but I felt it never really got going, not until the end anyway - it was like they were constantly feeling each other out at about 90% intensity, and neither could break the other’s defensive line. Cat and mouse maybe?

There almost seemed to be a capitulation by Scotland that they were not going to cross Argentina’s line ... especially when Parks opted for (and missed) a drop goal attempt late in the game when he seemed to have numbers out to his left.

Pretty sure that the result means Argentina will follow England though to the knockout stages, and end up in the quarter final against us. The only possible way for Scotland to go through is for them to get a 5 point haul against England, while preventing England from getting a losing bonus point. Impossible? Strange things do happen in World Cups, but on last night’s performance, I can’t see the Scottish backs producing the performance needed to pull off that upset ... it will have to be a legendary forwards rally. And who knows ... Richie Gray vs Courtenay Lawes? yes, please!

1 comment:

mikel said...

I keep thinking that Scotland is the reason there is no Plate competition at the RWC - no way a home nation wants to be in a secondary competition with Georgia, Canada, Japan, Tonga, the US etc. every four years. And for that I am pretty much constantly pissed at Scotland and pull strongly for the Pumas or whichever other competitor pips them into 2nd in Scotland's pool! At least Wales and Ireland have gotten (much) better than they had been for many years so they're no longer in the same boat. Scotland however show few signs of improvement.

To rub it in I would return the top European competition to the 5 Nations but have relegation to the Euro Nations Cup, which would include Italy, Georgia, Russia, and very soon, Scotland LOL.

OK OK, must calm down now and get ready for Canada to whip the Japanese (please please please, but on current form should be do-able)