Scotland always looking for improvements, says coach Richie Gray

Gray sees room for improvement in the breakdown for Scotland
Gray sees room for improvement in the breakdown for Scotland

Scotland cannot be satisfied with victory over Argentina, according to breakdown coach, Richie Gray.

In their second autumn Test, Greig Laidlaw's penalty snatched a 19-16 win for the Scots with the clock red.

"In the good old days, after a game like that everybody would be delighted, punching the air," said Gray.

"It was a win against a quality side, but you're always aiming to be better as a group and I thought there were small parts we need to get sorted out."

Scotland end the November series against Georgia at Rugby Park on Saturday.

And coach Gray added: "We can't have the old classic of, result, fantastic, because the result's worth nothing if you don't back it up week after week."

With a spree of injuries across the front and back-rows, Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has taken the opportunity to blood a host of rookie internationals.

Hamish Watson, the open-side flanker, props Allan Dell and Zander Fagerson and centre Huw Jones in particular have caught the eye in the win over the Pumas, and the narrow defeat to Australia.

Scotland's squad has long been stunted by a lack of depth, but Gray is confident that is changing.

"That's been one of the positives," said Gray. "You want to put those young players in against quality. The only way you'll find out if a kid's quality is if he plays against quality week in, week out.

"Young players can sometimes have a great first game because adrenaline takes them through it but they must back it up.

"You look at Watson, he's really backed-up what he did against Australia. And our front-row have had to tough it out against some of the best in the world and come through it and learned.

"You always want to play your best team, but you hardly ever get a chance - there's always an injury somewhere.

"When you look at the guys that have come through, it's been a massive tick of the box. All of a sudden it brings competition, you've got players that may be injured or not in the team thinking, 'hang on a minute, there's somebody now not that far behind me'.

"We haven't got a massive player pool in this country - that's not an excuse, it's just reality - so you have to do the best you can with the players you've got."

Finn Russell missed with two late drop-goal attempts
Russell missed with two late drop-goal attempts against Argentina

Fly-half Finn Russell missed two late drop-goal attempts with the scores locked at 16-16, before Laidlaw's decisive goal.

Russell admits he should have made the kicks count, but says the win provides vital impetus against an improving Georgia.

"It was a bit of a relief getting the win after a tough game, but it was good to grind that one out, get the scrum and hold our composure, go through the phases and get the penalty," said Russell.

"If we'd have come off that pitch with a loss or a draw, we'd have been disappointed. It makes a big difference for our momentum going into Georgia, and previously Scotland could've lost that game, but the composure we showed, and the way we played that game, and the last couple of minutes was great.

"I probably should have kicked both of the drop-kicks - but I knew Greig was going to kick that last penalty; we kept the crowd on their toes!"

Top Stories