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Dublin: 10°C Monday 10 May 2021


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Full Time: Scotland 12 Argentina 13

Let’s do this.

Scotland and Argentina are about to kick off in what is that rarest of things: a pool in game in which we don’t really know what’s going to happen.

We do know it will not be one for the faint hearted. Get your kettle on, feet up and let’s see what goes down.

Get your predictions in and we’ll have the team news, right after I finish this last croissant.

Andy Robinson has just handed me his team-sheet…

Scotland: C Paterson; M Evans, N De Luca, G Morrison, S Lamont; R Jackson, R Lawson (capt); A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, R Gray, J Hamilton, A Strokosch, J Barclay, K Brown.

Replacements: D Hall, A Dickinson, N Hines, R Vernon, M Blair, D Parks, S Danielli.

And the Pumas? Well since you ask…

Argentina: M Rodriguez, G Camacho, M Bosch, F Contepomi (capt), H Agulla, S Fernandez, N Vergallo; R Roncero, M Ledesma, J Figallo, M Carizza, P Albacete, J Farias Cabello, JM Leguizamon, JM Fernandez Lobbe.

Replacements: A Creevy, M Scelzo, M Galarza, G Fessia, A Lalanne, L Gonzalez Amorosino, J Imhoff.

Some of us have been up with the dawn of course. I can see a few of you decided to sleep in the extra couple of hours rather than watch Ireland take on the minnows of Russia.

Never fear, catch up with what went down here. And here if you prefer books with loads of pictures.

For those of you who did get up, I find this kind of thing keeps me awake. Just get our hands on a spinning bike and an Oasis album.

Chris Patterson misses a chance to open the scoring after an encouraging Scottish start. The normally-reliable out half just pushed the penalty right and wide.

Interestingly, he did so amid loud Argentinian jeers from the stands.

Oh dear. This picture just dropped in from Inpho’s Dan Sheridan in New Zealand. Will someone think of the flag.

Felipe Contepomi – like Paterson – misses his first kick at goal. But the Pumas skipper sees his effort rebound off the post causing some confusion before Scotland get it away.

Argentina are looking dangerous now.

The former Leinster man makes no mistake from a straighforward position in front of the posts moments later however.

Scotland were penalised, we’re told, for ‘entering tackle zone incorrectly’. I’ve done that myself a few times.

Fun fact, fact fans: Scotland have lost their third match at three of the last four Rugby World Cups.

Thanks to the RWC website for that one. Top, top website.

Martín Rodríguez attempts a monster kick but it’s not particularly close. Still 3-0 after 35 minutes now.

After a fair bit of Scottish pressure around the Pumas’ 22, Scotland’s Chris Paterson ultimately conceded a penalty for not releasing ball in ruck.

Argentina ‘made a meal’ of the whole passage of play, according to the ITV commentator though.

We’re coming up on half-time but in truth the game hasn’t really caught fire yet. Argentina are very much dominating breakdown but Scotland have a foothold in this most physical of games and are trying to get the ball out wide.

PENALTY Chris Paterson evens it up with a tricky penalty attempt from the left after Rodrigo Roncero concedes it for collapsing a scrum.

PENALTY Jackson puts Scotland ahead for the first time with a cracking kick, which was just outside Chris Paterson’s range.

HALF TIME Scotland 6 Argentina 3

We’ve kicked off. Argentina take the initiative.

Scotland concede a penalty for not rolling away in the ruck, Fernández find touch but Gray wins the line out. This is scrappy, unglamourous stuff.

Technical side note: doesn’t Bosch have a great, onomatopoeic name for a big-hitting rugby player.

Scotland almost get in. Evans kicked and collected himself thanks to a lovely bounce. Lawson eventually has to go on his own but he can’t make it count and loses possession.

Scott Hasting’s is growing yet more frustrated with his country’s inability to finish chances.

There’s 50 minutes on the clock, there’s three points in it and there’s inch after inch of rainfall falling from the skies at the moment.

Ah Chris… Scotland see yet more points go begging as Chris Paterson screws a drop goal wide from not far out. We’re coming up on the hour mark now and it’s still very much in the balance.Do-or-die now for both sides.

Contepomi had the opportunity to draw the Pumas level but the former Leinster favourite dragged it well wide. It was kicked from way out however, the conditions are a joke and – like Paterson earlier – he had the jeers of a section of the crowd ringing in his ears.

An hour on the clock now.

PENALTY Boom! Felipe Contepomi makes it a level game again with a kick.This is gonna be tense.

DROP GOAL Game on for Scotland, Gavin Hasting’s yells as Ruaridh Jackson brings Scotland down the other end and lofts a high effort between the posts.

Scotland’s John Barclay concedes a penalty for not releasing in the ruck and Contepomi takes the subsequent kick. He bounces it another one off the upright however, to audible gaps from those in the stands.

DROP GOAL Dan Parks comes on and then kicks the most beautiful touch-finder into the corner. Scotland win the line-out and set up camp a few metres out from the Argentine line. The ref awards a penalty to the Scots so Parks take a free pop at goal and, though it’s not the cleanest kick, he nudges it over. Pumas need a try.

TRY And they get it! Incredible -stuff as Contepomi converts the score to put the Argentines one up.

Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino was the man with the magic in his wet feet, cutting in from the right with a couple of balletic steps and going over. Five minutes or so left.

We’re into the final three or four minutes. There’s a point in it and Scotland have possession.

Parks makes a bags of his touch-finder into the same corner as earlier but Ammorisino – the try-scorer, remember -  fumbles it into touch like a schoolboy.

And Parks fluffs the drop goal effort! By a mile.

Andy Robinson leaves his little control room in the stand as normal time elapses.

It’s all over. Argentina win the ball back and welly it out of play.

“Scotland were brave but fell just short,” says Hastings. You get the feeling he’s said it before.

Steve Ryder sounds personally upset by the whole thing. He might perk up when he realises that the Calcutta Cup’s stock will never be worth more – England and Scotland will now meet for a place in the World Cup quarter finals next week.

Scotland’s players look gutted understandably. They know they need to beat an in-form England by a bonus point margin. It’s not going to happen is it?

Captain Rory Lawson says they knew it would come down to small margins. And they came out the wrong side of it.

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