Mike Blair: Moving On - Determined To Win

An update from Scotland captain, scrum-half Mike Blair, as the second week of the tour to Argentina progresses. In professional sport you are very rarely in a position to dwell ad infinitum on a match, irrespective of its outcome. As players privileged to represent Scotland everyone was really hurt by the result of our first Test against Argentina in Rosario on Saturday but as it's a two Test tour and the second Test looms large, we have to move on.

Scotland captain, scrum-half Mike Blair, updates the Scottish Rugby website as the second week of the tour to Argentina progresses.

In professional sport you are very rarely in a position to dwell ad infinitum on a match, irrespective of its outcome.

As players privileged to represent Scotland everyone was really hurt by the result of our first Test against Argentina in Rosario on Saturday but as it's a two Test tour and the second Test looms large, we have to move on.

Like all the other players and coaches I've studied the DVD from Saturday's game and we've completed our collective debrief.

The match was frustrating. There were similarities with the Italian game in the Six Nations in that we played some very good rugby at times and almost got into a position to close out the game. Unfortunately the Argentines got back into the match with a couple of penalties and there was a shift of momentum.

We were very pleased with how the setpiece had gone. We dominated the lineout and the scrum was comfortable throughout - and that's no mean achievement against the Pumas, the third ranked team in the world, who pride themselves in those areas.

I thought we mixed up our tactics reasonably well but the breakdown needs to be tidied up and if we can do so we'll get more quick ball. There were occasions when we were able to move the ball around. There are times to do that; there are times to play territory; there are times to put the pressure back on them.

Argentina have a very efficient defence and they want you to try risky off-loads and risky passes - that's what they thrive off and that's where they generate their momentum.

As I said, the players were all very down after the game as we know what's at stake. But we have to get the balance right between this Saturday's Test in Buenos Aires being a really important game and being relaxed enough to play the kind of rugby we want to play.

So we're absolutely focused on winning the game; we know a lot rides on it; but we have to go in with a calm and collected mindset conducive to playing good rugby.

We cannot afford to let our heads stay down. We have to look at the positives that came out of the game in Rosario and improve on the negatives and have a real determination to go out and win Saturday's Test match.

In looking for good vibes we attended a football match between Boca Juniors and Lanos on Sunday night. The last football match I'd been to was between Hibs and a Russian team in the UEFA Cup at Easter Road and this was a bit different.

Though our bus driver's navigation went a bit awry we did eventually get to the ground. The Boca crowd were incredible. They sang for the entire period we were there and they had every right to be in good voice as their favourites won 3-1.

Afterwards I was presented with a club jersey, number 16, worn by Ezequiel Munoz, a wee guy with short hair who took all the corners.

Sunday was a special day for me - my first anniversary and I was glad I was able to spend some time on the phone to my wife Viv back home. We're currently moving house and I've joked that everything has to be in order by the time I get back! Returning with a victory from Argentina would certainly add to a happy homecoming.

Mike Blair
Scotland captain