Watch Scotland vs Argentina Live Streaming 2014 Autumn International Live Online.This Rugby Union match will be kick off at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh,Saturday 08 November 2014 online, Time 17:30 GMT and its broadcast on Online Channels,Sky Sports.
Having led Scotland seven times already, Greig Laidlaw knows that the captain’s job involves extending a few courtesies to visiting sides, but after being confirmed in that role for Saturday’s BT Murrayfield clash with Argentina, the scrum-half made it clear that hospitality has its limits.
“It is the ultimate honour for me, a big occasion and something I never take lightly,” said Laidlaw, who steps into the captaincy role following Grant Gilchrist’s injury. “I’m really looking forward to leading the boys out there on Saturday. The 15 who take the field have to fill the jersey with pride and passion. That’s got to be a standard. We have to get wired into them for 80 minutes and make Murrayfield a horrible place for teams to come and play rugby.”
Laidlaw’s approach echoes that of Vern Cotter, the coach who will be in charge of a Scotland home game for the first time, who famously made a fortress of Clermont Auvergne’s Stade Marcel Michelin as he guided the French side on a run of more than 70 consecutive victories on their own ground.
However, there was also a note of irony in Laidlaw’s declaration, as Argentina succeeded in making things pretty horrible for Scotland on their last four visits to Edinburgh. In fact, 24 years have gone by since Scotland last beat the Pumas at
Murrayfield, a passage of time emphasised by the fact that Hugo Porta, the legendary fly-half, was still playing for Argentina on that November 1990 day when Scotland trounced the South Americans 49-3.
“It would be a good time to start,” replied Laidlaw when he was asked if that sequence could be thrown into reverse on Saturday. But he also acknowledged that the Argentina of today are a very different outfit to the one that has played at Murrayfield in recent years, and that they will be buoyed by their most recent result, when they beat Australia last month to claim their first-ever Rugby Championship win.
“They have changed their game a bit in the last few years. They were traditionally a power team, and they still have an element of that, but now they are in the Rugby Championship they realise they have to expand their game if they want to compete.
“The last time they pulled on the Pumas jersey they had one of their best results. I’m sure they will be full of confidence. It is about us stemming that and meeting fire with fire.”
Perhaps significantly, Cotter refused to confirm that Laidlaw would lead the side into their other autumn matches, against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Nov 15 and Tonga in Kilmarnock on Nov 22. The coach hinted recently that the captaincy could be a horses-for-courses appointment rather than a sinecure. With Chris Cusiter and Henry Pyrgos also in the frame for the scrum-half and captaincy jobs, Cotter is clearly happy to keep his options open.
However, Cotter showed no hesitation in endorsing Laidlaw’s qualities as a player. “Greig captained two games on the summer tour, has been playing exceptionally well for his club,” said the New Zealander. “When we sat down we had a number of leaders, but Greig’s form and the fact that he has captained for me before made him the obvious choice.”
Laidlaw has been kicking exceptionally well – a 90 per cent success rate – for Gloucester and has quickly established himself as the first-choice scrum-half for the Kingsholm club. Perhaps unexpectedly, as he was originally signed, by former director of rugby Nigel Davies, as a fly-half.
David Humphreys, who took over from Davies, and head coach Laurie Fisher, have preferred to place the 29-year-old nearer the pack, and results to date – Gloucester are comfortably mid-table in the Aviva Premiership – suggest they got that decision right.
Laidlaw, in turn, agreed that his close-season move from Edinburgh has taken him to a new level as a player. “The way Gloucester want to play the game has really helped me come on,” he explained. “I’ve enjoyed working with Laurie Fisher down there. It’s about playing quickly, speed of ball, and thankfully I’m fitting in well to their system.
“So far so good. The Premiership is a good competition. There’s a sense, with relegation, that every game is a big game. Teams are scared to lose but so far I’ve enjoyed it.”
The Scots will confirm their starting line-up on Thursday. Cotter, who had the beginnings of an injury crisis on his hands last week, explained that he was happy with the progress his squad has made and that most of the players who had been carrying knocks a few days ago had been able to take a full part in training.