Vern Cotter: Scotland need to improve execution against Argentina

Vern Cotter wants his Scotland side execute better when they play Argentina on Friday in Córdoba

By Gareth Llewellyn

Vern Cotter wants his Scotland side execute better when they play Argentina on Friday in Córdoba.

The new Scotland head coach has seen his players win against the USA and Canada in his first two matches in charge, but they were lucky to escape Toronto with a 19-17 win when a penalty conceded in the 75th minute was overturned for foul play from Canada’s Jebb Sinclair, who was sent off.

“What we’ve seen from previous games on the tour has been a desire to play,” said Cotter. “Mistakes have crept into our game because we haven’t spent much time together.

“I’ve been pleased with the energy and desire to score tries but not happy with the execution.”

Scotland’s mammoth globetrotting tour, which began in Houston and ends in Port Elizabeth against South Africa, has meant Cotter had to name two squads with 13 players joining a small group who had travelled on from Canada to Buenos Aires.

“I’ve shown the clips to the new players and I’m looking to them to bring that same energy and desire to carry the ball and secure opportunities and hopefully fresh legs can help,” Cotter added.

“I need to see what players are doing. We have to show teeth. We have to be able to attack from anywhere and we have to be able to dictate the pace and tempo of games. It’s a challenge.”

The former Clermont Auvergne coach has not had it easy with injury problems at centre and in the back row leaving him short of options for the second half of the tour and he expects a difficult game against a weakened Pumas team that gave Ireland plenty of trouble in two matches against the Six Nations champions in recent weeks.

“They have to prepare for their Four Nations and they were much better in their second game against Ireland than in their first and they’ll be looking for that same progression into the game against us,” Cotter said.

“They’ve had [former New Zealand head coach] Graham Henry involved with them and you can see a bit more width and variety in their attacking game. We’re in for a very tough Test match.”

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