A Tragic Ending (Argentina vs Scotland)

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In hindsight, the decision to go for the drop goal instead of eating a few more seconds or minutes off the clock, or even, god forbid, attempt TO SCORE A TRY, was the wrong one. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino scored a try, the only one of the match, out of nothing, and left Scotland with one more chance of a Dan Parks drop goal, which went well wide, dooming Scotland to an early exit from the World Cup.

We can try and analyze the match and were things went wrong or right for both sides. That would be a waste of time. It was a grueling, physical, hard on the eyes battle under the pouring rain at Wellington. Eventually, it came down to Scotland’s momentary lapse on defense and heroic defending and a try from Argentina.

Felipe Contepomi struggled with his kicking, but came up with the winning conversion kick. It wasn’t the hardest in the world, but it was enough. For Scotland, a side that lacks any ambition to run the ball it seems, completely relying on their fantastic kicking  it was simply a huge disappointment, a crushing blow. A fantastic defensive effort combined with Ruaridh Jackson’s drop goal put them in front, a lead the seemed won’t be broken.

Dan Parks’ fantastic kick which led to the line-out deep in Argentina territory with less than 10 minutes left should have been Scotland’s first try of the evening. Instead, they went for the Parks drop goal from the closest range possible. The easy road failed the Scots less than a minute later, and the Argentina defense held on as Scotland got another very late chance deep in their territory, wasted away.

Andy Robinson, the Scottish chief, had only to lament the missed opportunity – We had complete control of the game but one slip of concentration cost us. First, to lose the restart, then secondly a poor defensive lapse. We played well second half but you’ve got to finish sides off. One slip-up and it is seven points.Credit to them, they were under a lot of pressure but they have fighting spirit. You saw what it meant to them to win this. The dressing room is absolutely devastated. One lapse, 30 seconds of concentration, has cost them a Test match.

Scotland now have to beat England, fresh of a convincing 67-3 drubbing of Romania, next week in Auckland. As captain Rory Lawson put it, there’s nothing too complicated about the whole thing – We’ve got a six-day turnaround now so we’ll go away and look at the game. Ultimately we’ve got to go to Auckland, put on a big performance, finish strongly and give ourselves a chance of progressing.