CORDOBA, Argentina -- Scotland defeated Argentina 21-19 with a late penalty on Friday to win three successive rugby tests for the first time in two years.
Just as in June 2012, the Scots have won all three on the road. Following wins over the United States and Canada, Scotland produced the winning points late for the second straight match, with flyhalf Duncan Weir kicking a penalty from 40 metres in the 79th minute.
Scotland trailed by one at halftime and 19-10 with 10 minutes to go, and looked like wasting a considerable advantage in possession and in the set-pieces against the feisty second-string Pumas who ran Six Nations champion Ireland close, twice.
The Scots forsook makeable penalty shots for attacking lineouts around the hour mark, and blew both. So when their scrum destroyed Argentina's, Grant Gilchrist, their youngest captain in 18 years, directed Weir to kick the penalty. He nailed the attempt from 45 metres to close the gap to six and renew Scotland's hopes.
Moments later, they attacked from deep and channeled the ball down the left wing of Tommy Seymour, their best attacking player. Seymour broke and sent in replacement scrumhalf Henry Pyrgos. Weir couldn't convert from the touchline but the gap was one with seven minutes left.
Argentina conceded the decisive penalty by joining a Scottish rolling maul from the side. But the Pumas still gave themselves a chance to steal the win after the hooter, setting up flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez for a dropped goal from 35 metres. But Sanchez, who left the game temporarily for suspected concussion, shot wide left.
Scotland, which brought in 13 reinforcements this week for the second half of its world tour, started full of vim. Nick de Luca and Seymour set up fullback Stuart Hogg for the opening try, then Seymour almost scored but was beaten by the bounce. The Pumas used that ball to attack from their 22, and eventually flanker Javier Ortega Desio crossed.
Sanchez kicked a dropped goal and two penalties to put the Pumas 14-10 up, then replacement wing Joaquin Tuculet, on the field for just a minute, sped around Scotland flanker Blair Cowan and Hogg to score a great individual try.
The Scots ultimately prevailed for the fourth time on Pumas soil, against only one win over the Pumas at home. Their magic touch will be tested in the tour finale next week in Port Elizabeth, against the Springboks.