Scotland narrowly beat Argentina 21-19 to claim a hard-fought victory on South American soil. Duncan Weir kicked the decisive points late on, but there was still time for a dramatic finish.
Argentina fought themselves into drop-kick territory, but the kick was missed, and Scotland's comeback was preserved. The Scots had rallied from nine points down to inch their way inexorably into a two-point lead.
Increased power in the scrum was a decisive factor, as the Scotland Rugby Union Twitter page noted:
Cracking scrum from the big men shoves Argentina off their ball between the half and their 10m line. Weir wants a shot (19-10) #ARGvSCO— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) June 20, 2014
Earlier, the Scots found it hard to deal with Argentina's quick and intelligent play. The South American team were bright moving the ball forward.
They used one speedy exchange of passes to set Javier Ortega Desio free for their opening try. The nifty flanker completed a nice move with an angled run to score.
But after some positive, forward-thinking bursts from Argentina, Scotland began to stand firm. Their stubborn resistance coaxed the game into a mistake-prone period.
Once again, Argentina's performance hinged on attacking hub Nicolas Sanchez. He was at the heart of everything his nation did moving forward.
But Sanchez also had to be withdrawn after several knocks. He had struggled to stay on the field during the recent defeat to Ireland, and Argentina are not the same team without him.
Gradually, Scotland powered their way back into proceedings, with Tommy Seymour a driving force. The powerful wing took the example of full-back Stuart Hogg to batter Argentina with some strong running.
Seymour's inspiration soon brought Scottish players out of their shells. A booming kick from Weir made it 19-13 to begin the turnaround.
That penalty seemed to rouse the Scots, who began to play with more pace and fluency, as BBC Sport noted:
[The Scots were] struggling to put phases together, [but] a monster penalty from Weir brought them within six points with just under 10 minutes to play.
And sub Pyrgos reduced their arrears to a 19-18 when he ran over following fine work by De Luca and Seymour down the left. Weir, however, missed the chance to give his side the lead.
Weir may have botched one potential game-winner, but he didn't let the gaffe fester in his mind once he got another chance.
Afterward, Seymour, who had done more than anyone to help position Weir to win the game, indicated that national pride had carried his team through:
Tommy Seymour: "We always look to put pride in the jersey when we play for Scotland."— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) June 20, 2014
While Seymour showed modesty by downplaying his own skill, this win really did owe as much to graft and resilience as it did to dynamic ability. It's a happy knack that is making Scotland consistently difficult to break down.
Seymour's sentiments were echoed by coach Vern Cotter. He was sure to salute the hidden, emotional qualities, such as determination, that often make the difference:
Vern Cotter's reaction to the 21-19 win: "It was a tough game and we had to find the resources at the end to come back and win."— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) June 20, 2014
Cotter will no doubt be delighted to stay unbeaten as Scotland's national team boss. While he experimented with his selection in Cordoba, he'll know that he has a tough and defiant group of players who don't surrender easily.
That's a good platform for any coach to begin shaping a feared team.