Planet Rugby

Parks' boot sinks Pumas

12th June 2010 21:38

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Dan Parks v Pumas kick

Killer boot: Dan Parks slots another penalty

Fly-half Dan Parks kicked all of Scotland's points, including two drop-goals, in a hard-fought 24-16 win over Argentina in Tucuman on Saturday.

Parks was the hero yet again as Scotland came roaring back from 13-6 down to become the first side ever to beat Argentina in Tucuman.

After victories for New Zealand, Australia and South Africa this weekend, Scotland saved some pride for the northern hemisphere in a famous win.

Parks maintained his man-of-the-match form from the Six Nations with another consummate kicking display, the rejuvenated fly-half landing six penalties and two drop goals.

The 32-year-old could even afford some rare slip-ups with the boot as Scotland dominated almost the entire second half, their shell-shocked opponents made to pay for persistent infringement at the breakdown.

The Pumas lead 13-12 at half time thanks to tries from centre Gonzalo Tiesi and flank Juan Manuel Leguizamon while Parks' 40th minutes drop goal and his three penalties kept the visitors in the game.

But the hosts were largely shut out of the second half as their only points came in form of Felipe Contepomi's second penalty of the day.

Scotland went into the match with a miserable record against the Pumas, losing eight of the last nine meetings, including at Murrayfield in November - Andy Robinson's first defeat in charge.

The one exception was a series-levelling success in Buenos Aires two years ago, when Robinson was part of the coaching set-up.

Argentina, who are in Scotland's World Cup pool next year, had never lost in their seven previous games in Tucuman.

Both sides made an adventurous start but Scotland paid for their ambition early on when Max Evans lost the ball in the tackle.

The Pumas pounced for the easiest of breakaway tries, Contepomi feeding Tiesi to run in unchallenged. Contepomi was wide with the conversion.

Parks kicked a penalty as Scotland continued to run the ball but the Pumas were piling on the pressure at scrum time and were rewarded with a close-range penalty kicked by Contepomi.

Parks missed a 25-metre penalty before new captain Alastair Kellock almost gifted Argentina a second try on the counter when he lost the ball, but Nick De Luca produced a vital tap tackle on Contepomi.

Parks converted his latest penalty attempt from more than 40 metres but Argentina had their second try when Horacio Agulla claimed a Contepomi chip to the corner and offloaded for Leguizamon.

The flanker shrugged off some poor tackles, stretched and got the ball down on the line to the satisfaction of the video referee. Contepomi missed the conversion.

The Pumas continued to infringe at the breakdown but Parks failed to make them pay with what looked a straightforward 22-metre penalty.

He made amends again with another long-range effort to keep Scotland in contention and they were denied a try on the stroke of half-time when Lamont grounded the ball after being tackled into touch by Martin Rodriguez-Gurruchaga.

Leguizamon had been yellow carded in the build-up, while Parks kicked a drop goal on the stroke of half-time to cut the deficit to a point.

Silly penalties at the start of the second half cost Scotland the chance to take advantage of the extra man.

But they were well on top as Argentina replaced prop Martin Scelzo with Marcos Ayerza and Lucas Borges with Lucas Gonzalez-Amorosino.

The Pumas were starting to make errors in their own 22 and they gave the tourists a 25-metre penalty from which Parks put them ahead for the first time.

Argentina came roaring back and Scotland survived a succession of five-metre scrums before replacing Johnnie Beattie and Rory Lawson with Alasdair Strokosch and Mike Blair.

Mariano Galarza came on for Manuel Carizza seconds before Parks booted a 48-metre penalty to increase the tourists' lead to five points.

The hosts threw on Agustin Creevy for Mario Ledesma but it was now a long time since they had led 13-6.

Parks was full of confidence and took on a 55-metre penalty which was nowhere near but more excellent Scotland attacking set up a close-range drop goal which the fly-half converted to put the tourists eight points up.

More substitutions followed for both sides before Contepomi cut the deficit with a long-range penalty but yet more Argentinian infringement allowed Parks to wrap up a superb victory with his sixth penalty.

The scorers

For Argentina:
Tries:Tiesi, Leguizamon
Pens: Contepomi 2

For Scotland:
Pens: Parks 5
Drops: Parks 2

Yellow card: Leguizamon (Argentina - 40th min - repeated ruck infringements)

Argentina: 15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Lucas Borges, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Felipe Contepomi (c), 9 Alfredo Lalanne, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Genaro Fessia, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Mariano Galarza, 19 Alejandro Campos, 20 Agustin Figuerola, 21 Ignacio Mieres, 22 Lucas Gonzalez-Amorosino.

Scotland: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Max Evans, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 John Barclay, 7 Johnnie Beattie, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alastair Kellock (c), 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Moray Low, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Geoff Cross, 18 Scott MacLeod, 19 Alasdair Strokosch, 20 Mike Blair, 21 Phil Godman, 22 Jim Thompson.

Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

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