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Laidlaw happy to win ugly and says Scotland are in a ‘very good place’

The captain kicked nine points as the hosts edged past Argentina.

Skipper Greig Laidlaw was relieved to see Scotland avoid a slip-up against Argentina amid tricky conditions at Murrayfield.

A greasy ball made life difficult for both sides, but it was the hosts who came out on top in Edinburgh as Sean Maitland’s try sealed a 14-9 victory.

Gregor Townsend named an adventurous back-line that also contained Adam Hastings and Finn Russell as duel pivots, plus the talents of Huw Jones, Stuart Hogg and Blair Kinghorn.

But the Dark Blues had to rein in their more flamboyant instincts as they struggled to keep hold of the slippery pill.

However, Laidlaw, who contributed nine points with his boot, praised his side for grinding out the win.

He said: “It was all about going out and getting the win, at this level it’s all about winning games.

“We were delighted to do that as it was very difficult in terms of the conditions.

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Sean Maitland’s try settled the match at Murrayfield (Ian Rutherford/PA).

“That very much dictated the way the game went, so we are really pleased with the win.

“Could we have played a little bit better? Yes, we could have, but we scored a nice try right at the end to take the game away from them.

“It was frustrating, but sometimes you just need to be patient and not try to force things too much and do things in the right areas.

“I thought Finn was really good today in terms of the way he helped Adam and in the way he helped me at the end with his chip kicking and little bits of play in front of goal.

“That’s probably what got us over the line.”

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Scotland’s Finn Russell won praise for his performance (Ian Rutherford/PA).

Having suffered defeats to Wales and South Africa either side of their eight-try demolition job on Fiji, victory over the Pumas now gives the Scots some momentum ahead of the Six Nations.

And Laidlaw is now looking ahead to February’s opener at home to Italy with excitement.

“As a whole we are in a very good place,” he said. “The boys put in a big performance down in Wales in a venue which isn’t easy to win at. It was a game we were right in and probably should have scored another try and it would have been a different game.

“There was a strong performance against Fiji and we all know we were within touching distance against the fifth best team in the world in the shape of South Africa and then a good win today.

“We will go away and learn and refocus with the coaches and we’ll come back better and ready to take on the Six Nations.”

Maitland dived over in the corner after 66 minutes after Laidlaw and Hogg spotted an overload down the right-hand side.

But Argentina coach Mario Ledesma was frustrated as his side spurned four make-able kicks, while there was no punishment for Scotland hooker Fraser Brown, despite his high tackle on wing Ramiro Moyano.

“I think we missed 15 points and a couple of line breaks we should have scored, especially in the last five minutes,” he said. “So we have to learn something from the game, we need to put away the opportunities that are presented to us.

“There was a tweet about all the red cards and yellow cards that should have been awarded to players and (the Brown incident) is one of them.

“Clearly he is late, he applies force, it ticks all the boxes, but that’s the way it is. The ref didn’t see it that way, the TMO didn’t see it that way, it’s just the way it is.”

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