Sunday, June 15, 2008
Chris Paterson celebrated his record-breaking 88th cap by inspiring a young Scotland team to a historic 26-14 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires on the weekend. The win, which avenged last week's 21-15 loss, tied the two-game Test series and was Scotland's first win over Argentina for 18 years, and their first on Argentinian turf.
Paterson contributed 13 points in a memorable match in which he also overtook Scott Murray's cap tally. With metronomic consistency, the Gloucester man kicked 14 points as Scotland took a 19-0 lead with Ross Ford touching down for the only first-half try.
Northampton lock Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, playing his last Test before retiring from international rugby at the age of 33, finished a fine counter-attacking move to give Argentina a lifeline but Scotland's quick, crisp passing kept the visitors firmly in the driving seat.
Any notion of a dramatic Argentina comeback was banished when Dan Parks made a great interception in his own half and ran 40 metres before offloading to Graeme Morrison to rush through between the posts.
Horacio Agulla's last-minute touch down and a Todeschini conversion took the shine of Scotland's day by denying them the 15-point margin required to achieve an improved IRB ranking.
Coach Frank Hadden was quick to praise his young teams turnaround after their loss last week.
"We are delighted," he said. "After the frustration of last week it is testament to the confidence and self-belief in the whole squad.
"We had the youngest squad in the World Cup, we were the youngest in the Six Nations and we have an even younger squad for this tour."
"It is important not to underestimate the size of the achievement," added Hadden. "We were the only northern hemisphere team winning a Test match against a southern hemisphere team today and that was against the third best rugby country in the world.