Skipper Greig Laidlaw is convinced Scotland are right up there with the best teams in the world as they look to end their Autumn Internationals on a high this weekend.
Looking to build on an impressive 2018 Six Nations, where they finished third, and a promising summer that saw them record victories in Argentina and Canada, it has been a mixed bag for Scotland this November.
A 21-10 loss to Wales in the inaugural Doddie Weir Cup was followed by a convincing 54-17 win over Fiji before a promising display, but narrow 26-20 defeat, to South Africa last weekend.
The Springboks loss was a case of fine margins but as they look to finish by beating Argentina in a rematch at BT Murrayfield, Laidlaw is adamant his team can compete with anyone.
“I honestly believe we are right up there,” said the scrum-half. “(Head coach) Gregor (Townsend) spoke in the changing room after the game that he feels South Africa are really up there in terms of the top two or three teams in the world.
“We showed that we are right in these games, on another day we can win so we are going in the right direction.
“We are disappointed we have lost but we need to put that to the side and bounce back next week and give a strong performance against Argentina.”
Targeting big improvements
Scotland proved they are more than capable of besting Los Pumas with a sparkling 44-15 triumph at the Estadio Centenario in June and have in fact won six of the last seven matches between the sides.
Argentina are yet to win this autumn under new boss Mario Ledesma – with former coach Daniel Hourcade quitting in the aftermath of the Scotland defeat during the summer – although they impressed during the Rugby Championship in the interim.
And assistant coach Mike Blair wants to see the Six Nations side step up their game to end the autumn with a bang.
“When a new coach comes in you often get that spike in performance and we saw that with a couple of the wins they had in the Rugby Championship,” explained Blair.
“There’s a slight variance in their attacking shape and defence – defence is so much about attitude and buy-in from the players as well and he’s obviously got a bit more of that.
“They’ve made big improvements since we played against them in the summer – we played well in the summer – they’ve made big improvements and we’re going to have to do the same again and step it up.”