Scotland: Gregor Townsend says he is proud of his players despite series defeat to Argentina

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Despite suffering an agonising series defeat to the Pumas in Argentina on Saturday, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend revealed that he was proud of his players.

The Scots were holding a commanding 28-13 lead with 30 minutes left to play Santiago Del Estero after Duhan van der Merwe and Ewan Ashman had crossed for tries. Argentina launched a stunning fightback, however, and sealed a 34-31 victory courtesy of a last-gasp try from Edinburgh wing Emiliano Boffelli, who also slotted the conversion.

Townsend couldn’t hide his disappointment after the match but, despite the defeat which meant Argentina won the three-Test series 2-1, he still praised his charges.

“We are obviously really disappointed because we were ahead for most of the game and we had chances – chances to score a try and were held up over the line, and chances just to be a bit more efficient with our exiting in the last five minutes,” he told Sky Sports.

“I really feel for the players because so much of their display was full of courage and skill.

Happy with performance

“It was our best display of the tour and would have been a famous win but the feelings just now are the opposite of that.

“The way we played away home in front of noisy crowd, against a very good side, I am so proud of that effort.

“We just need to make sure we win those games that we dominate for so long.”

With the score 31-27 in Scotland’s favour during the final quarter, the visitors opted to kick for the corner instead of taking a shot at goal but despite that error in judgement, Townsend would not criticise his players.

“We got 15 ahead by kicking towards the corner in the first half,” he said.

“We backed ourselves and just didn’t get the ball over the try line. That was unfortunate but it was something we will learn as a group.”

Scotland captain Hamish Watson admitted that they should have finished on the winning side.

“We dominated the game, we looked good in attack but I think we were architects of our own downfall,” the flanker said.

“Every time we got ahead, and got 15 points clear, we let them back in the game, and couldn’t exit.

“We didn’t bank the points after kick-offs. When we were receiving we just couldn’t get out of our half and gifted them points.

Full of praise for Argentina

“All credit to Argentina, they are a very good team, they were always going to stick in there, they are a proud nation and we knew they were going to come back.

“We talked about banking the points and we didn’t do that and, when we got down to five metres out on a number of occasions, our set-piece wasn’t good enough.”

READ MORE: July internationals: Emiliano Boffelli the hero as Argentina late show stuns Scotland

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