Mike Blair: Gray brothers light up promising Scotland victory
Scotland selected a dynamic, young and exciting squad to face Argentina and they did not disappoint.
They chose tactics and a game plan to suit the players involved, which has sometimes not been the case, and everyone bought into it.
The most pleasing thing for me in the 41-31 victory was seeing the forwards not scared of being ball players despite the damp conditions; holding the ball in two hands, attacking shoulders and often looking for that extra short pass to another forward hitting a direct line on the outside.
The line break by Ross Ford, which should have resulted in Mark Bennett's first Test try, was a result of two short passes from forward to forward to forward. This, to me, is an example of ambition in attack.
Scotland talked about playing with ambition and enjoying themselves. Ambition doesn't have to mean you have to play like the Barbarians and it can be as simple as an extra pass.
|"I remember the first time I played with my younger brother... I wanted to look after him but I also wanted to prove to him why I was captain and why I was an international player."|
I felt the kicking game also reflected ambition. Kicking to regain ball through contest in the air or in Finn Russell's case finding turf behind the Argentine wingers. It wasn't meaningless kicking but kicking for a purpose.
Scotland's pack contained athletes but crucially also contained players who 'had a bit of rugby about them'.
This was particularly evident with the Gray brothers' tries, with both second rows playing what they saw in front of them and clinically executing their opportunities.
This was the first time the brothers had played together and I thought this had a huge positive impact on Richie in particular, being the older brother.
I remember the first time I played with my younger brother, David (playing at 10), for Edinburgh against Connacht. I wanted to look after him but I also wanted to prove to him why I was captain and why I was an international player.
I saw this in Richie a bit. He was hungry and aggressive and to me it looked like he didn't want Jonny to be taking all the accolades as the hard working brother.
The most positive reflection that I had on the game was that this Scotland team looked like they knew what they were doing, where they were meant to be running and were decisive in their actions.
Greig Laidlaw was generally the catalyst for a lot of the tactical options but Russell was accurate and tidy with his option-taking and execution.
I have to reserve a special mention for Adam Ashe who topped the carrying and defensive stats.
Number eight is a hugely competitive position with Jonnie Beattie playing some fantastic rugby at Castres and back fit and Dave Denton two games back into his injury comeback, but Ashe was superb on Saturday - young and inexperienced but confident and talented. What a great combination.
It wasn't perfect, especially the last 15 minutes, but isn't it nice to be the team who concede three tries in the last quarter and still win by 10 points against a top tier nation?