Argentina 26-18 Scotland

Scotland’s first ever three-Test summer series started with defeat in Jujuy as they were beaten by hosts Argentina.

Argentina had the first opportunity for points as Zander Fagerson was penalised for not releasing the ball on the ground, and Nicolas Sanchez slotted the kick at goal from the left touchline.

The hosts soon had another penalty and this time kicked to the corner, but after six phases within five metres of the Scotland try line, the ball was spilled forward and the danger ceased.

Scotland did not have much territory or possession in the opening 10 minutes, but after a short spell with ball in hand they were awarded a penalty just outside the 22 in front of the posts. Blair Kinghorn was the player tasked with levelling the scores, which he duly did.

Argentina had a second kick at goal in the 18th minute, from a similar angle to the first one but closer to the posts, and Sanchez kicked it through the posts again to give his side the lead for a second time.

The South American side had a third kick at goal from the other side as Scotland were penalised at the scrum. With Sanchez off injured, Edinburgh Rugby winger Emiliano Boffelli stepped up, but his kick sailed wide.

It was in fact Scotland who were next to kick over points, as Argentina gave away the penalty for a neck roll and Kinghorn converted to make the scores level again after just over 20 minutes.

Los Pumas scored the opening try on the half hour mark. A good move gave Pablo Matera space on the left side, and a couple of phases later Jeronimo de la Fuente crossed in the corner. Boffelli attempted the conversion but hooked it left of the sticks.

And they soon had a second score after a line break from Juan Cruz Mallia. Duhan van der Merwe did well to tackle Santiago Cordero short of the line, but substitute Santiago Carreras was there to finish off. Boffelli was this time successful and Argentina were 12 points up.

It looked like there might be a third try for the home side before the break, but defending deep in his own half, Matt Fagerson managed to win a penalty at a ruck to relieve the pressure.

Half time: Argentina 18-6 Scotland

Scotland looked to have pulled a try back minutes into the second half as van der Merwe dived on a loose ball, but he was adjudged to have knocked it on.

Chances were starting to be produced by the visitors, and after a penalty was kicked to the right corner, Mark Bennett dummied and sprinted over on the left side to score Scotland’s first try six years after his last international start. Kinghorn’s conversion was pulled slightly left.

Matt Fagerson won a second ruck penalty in the 53rd minute and Scotland kicked to the corner again, and after a couple of strong carries from the forwards the side in navy blue had a second try in four minutes. Kinghorn ran towards the left corner and passed to Rory Hutchinson, who cut inside and squirmed over the line. From a similar position to his first conversion attempt, Kinghorn was this time accurate and the scores were level.

But Argentina took the lead again in less than a minute. The restart was clawed out of the air by Boffelli and Gonzalo Bertranou managed to get the ball down in the left corner. Boffelli again could not convert.

Kinghorn kicked into the corner from a penalty again in the 64th minute. After strong carries in the following phases Kinghorn flung the ball wide to Sam Johnson who grounded the ball on the left, but the pass to the inside centre was deemed to have gone forward.

Argentina were offered the opportunity to extend their lead to eight points in the 71st minute from a penalty, and Boffelli booted the ball through the posts.

Scotland tried to go from deep in their own half with the final play, but Kinghorn’s cross-field kick went out and Argentina took the first test of the series.

Full time: Argentina 26-18 Scotland

Player of the Match: Gonzalo Bertranou (Argentina)

15. Rory Hutchinson 14. Darcy Graham 13. Mark Bennett. 12. Sam Johnson 11. Duhan Van Der Merwe 10. Blair Kinghorn 9. Ali Price 1. Pierre Schoeman 2. George Turner 3. Zander Fagerson 4. Grant Gilchrist CAPTAIN 5. Jonny Gray 6. Magnus Bradbury 7. Luke Crosbie 8. Matt Fagerson

Substitutes: 16. Ewan Ashman (for Turner 59) 17. Rory Sutherland (for Schoeman 59) 18. Javan Sebastian (for Fagerson 59) 19. Sam Skinner (for Gray 66) 20. Rory Darge (for Crosbie 52) 21. Ben White (for Price 66) 22. Ross Thompson 23. Sione Tuipulotu (for Johnson 70)

Argentina: 15. Juan Cruz Mallia 14. Santiago Cordero 13. Matias Orlando 12. Jeronimo De La Fuente 11. Emiliano Boffelli 10. Nicolas Sanchez 9. Gonzalo Bertranou 1. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro 2. Julian Montoya CAPTAIN 3. Francisco Gomez Kodela 4. Guido Petti 5. Matias Alemanno 6. Juan Martin Gonzalez 7. Marcos Kremer 8. Pablo Matera.

Replacements: 16. Agustin Creevy 17. Mayco Vivas 18. Joel Sclavi 19. Lucas Paulos 20. Facundo Isa 21. Juan Imhoff 22. Santiago Carreras 23. Matias Moroni.

live commentary 8:10 PM Saturday 2 Jul 2022

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