Resistencia (Argentina) (AFP) – Fly-half Adam Hastings, a son of Scotland rugby legend Gavin, was among a trio hailed by coach Gregor Townsend Sunday after a 44-15 thrashing of Argentina in a one-off Test.
Scrum-half George Horne and flanker Fraser Brown also received special praise following an unexpectedly convincing victory for the experimental touring team.
Victory in northeast Argentina completed a tour in which the Scots overwhelmed Canada 48-10 but suffered a shock 30-29 loss to the United States.
Although the Pumas came into the match having lost twice to Wales, few among the 22,000 crowd in Resistencia expected to witness such a one-sided encounter.
“There was about a 140-cap difference between the two sets of half-backs and Nicolas Sanchez and Martin Landajo are quality players in the Argentine team,” noted Townsend.
“That was a huge challenge for Adam and George in their second starts for Scotland but they played so positively, they went for gaps they knew were there.
“That shows they were confident, they thrived in that environment. It was really encouraging for the future.
“Adam is a confident guy,” Townsend said of the son of former Scotland and British and Irish Lions skipper Gavin.
“He obviously did not have a brilliant experience last weekend (against the United States), though there were some good things.
“It was great to see him put that behind him. All our team were very set about playing Argentina, especially when we turned up and the crowd was already in place.”
Townsend came to the Americas without some stars as he wanted to see the likes of Hastings and Horne in action and hoped to increase squad depth ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Brown, a hooker turned loose forward, was another singled out by Townsend after Scotland won a fifth consecutive Test in Argentina since 2008.
“Fraser is an excellent hooker and was superb over the ball. He got a few balls at the tail of the lineout too.
“His back went into spasm after training on the eve of the match and he had a fever overnight.
“Fraser got whacked a few times during the match but still produced an outstanding performance. That is a credit to his toughness and what a good player he is.”
While Townsend flew home a happy man, the outcome was a sad farewell for Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade, who said last week he would quit after the June Tests.
The 60-year-old believed “his message was not getting through” after losing 22 of 28 Tests since finishing fourth at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Mario Ledesma, coach of Buenos Aires-based Super Rugby outfit Jaguares, is favoured to succeed Hourcade.