Scotland Aim To Make History In Tucuman
Scotland completed their preparations in Tucuman today for tomorrow’s first Test against the Pumas with head coach Andy Robinson warning that discipline will be a key factor. Under captain Al Kellock’s leadership, Scotland will take to the field at the 35,000 approximate capacity at the Club Atletico de Tucuman, a ground with steepling terracing on three sides, and the crowd fenced in. Little wonder that the Pumas have never lost here on seven previous occasions, with the partisan home support giving every encouragement. It’s six years since the last Test played in this city of half a million folk in the north of Argentina – on that occasion Wales lost a cracker 44-50 – and tomorrow will be only the second rugby international played in the city in the last 15 years. The stadium, first built 108 years ago, would probably fail to meet most Safety at Sports Grounds legislation in the UK. Indeed, locals were boasting today that a recent football match at the ground attracted a crowd of more than 40,000, such is the appetite for sport here. The welcome we have had here has been really good, very friendly. People have been desperately keen to meet the squad and there’s a real buzz about the city, Robinson said this afternoon. The head coach thought the pitch was in fantastic condition for tomorrow’s contest and called on his charges to maintain their discipline, especially at the breakdown, with the latest IRB directive on the tackle area, likely to weigh heavily on the mind of referee Dave Pearson. Robinson has noted that six of the Argentine pack tomorrow helped them to third place at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, thus he anticipates a fierce challenge for his team. But he believes the atmosphere tomorrow can inspire the Scotland players who he calculates are excited by the prospect. Listen below to Andy Robinson’s thoughts ahead of the first Test.