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Taylor wary of Argentina

Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor is wary of Argentina even though they will be missing all of their big-name players.

Argentina have announced the squad that will be whittled down to face the Scots, with the core of the group remaining those who come from the country's domestic leagues.

While that should, in theory, make life easier for the visitors, their performance last week against Canada stands as a brutal warning against taking anything for granted.

Taylor has added his voice to those pointing out that the lack of star names does not mean there is no star quality.

"I can only gauge on what I have seen, but they look very dangerous," he said after watching the tape of much the same side giving Ireland a scare last weekend.

"They are particularly strong on kick returns, they scored some good tries and they made a lot of line breaks. Our kicking game and our kick chase will be really important. They are also very dangerous attacking from the scrum

"They have a really good player in their number nine, Martin Landajo. He is an excellent player and is the catalyst for everything they do. Their back three are also very dangerous. Their winger scored a good try at the weekend against Ireland."

The warning is well timed. If Argentina are more dangerous than Canada on the counter-attack and tackling the Scottish defensive line, then Scotland cannot afford to be as lapse as they were in last weekend's game where they allowed the home side to make 11 clean breaks plus a number of half breaks in a game they inevitably struggled to win.

What really hurt Taylor, though, was that so many of the problems were Scotland mistakes rather than the result of Canadian pressure.

"We are disappointed with the number of unforced errors," he said.

"If we can cut out only half, we would be a good side. At the moment our skill execution has been letting us down so we need to be at our best there. It is a really important game, after all. It is a Test match, a really important game for us and we are determined to get the result."

Inevitably, with most of the squad having gone home after the Canada match, there are going to have to be major changes when the team is announced on Wednesday. Only six of last weekend's starting 15 have travelled to Argentina.

Of those who have stayed with the squad, Keiran Low and Blair Cowan, both flankers, will have to head back to the UK after playing in the Argentina game, instead of travelling on to South Africa.

The duo play for London Irish and the Aviva Premiership have barred their players taking part in matches after this coming weekend - which will create a major selection problem for the final game in Port Elizabeth.


From Belfast Telegraph