An impressive Test win over Argentina on Saturday provided confirmation that Scotland now has a group of players which, at a certain level of rugby when allowed to play, is capable of scoring freely.

As international rugby goes this was the equivalent of a Pro14 standard tour, while England, France, Ireland and Wales were engaged in a Champions Cup level of competition.

That was not the fault of Scotland’s players and management, but their task was to make the best of what was on offer and, taken in isolation, the scale of the 44-15 victory over the 2007 and 2015 World Cup semi-finalists on their own turf was a result from which they out to draw considerable encouragement.

It was a fine reaction, too, to the embarrassing defeat in Houston the previous weekend by an admittedly very different group of players, but as a whole the tour may prove to have been a real missed opportunity in terms of helping Scotland bring about the way they and their opponents view them.

On the internal side that is about genuinely believing in the power of positive messaging that is so central to the philosophy of the current management team and the generation of what I have long referred to as competitive confidence.

It is one thing making the right noises, but another thing truly having the belief that when up against the very best you have the clarity to know what needs to be done and the physical capacity to execute it.

Over the past decade, from the lowest of bases, that has been achieved by Scottish teams at that aforementioned Pro12/14 level, which extends to occasionally catching some of the better international teams off-guard, but not managing to make it count when, for example, there was an opportunity to make history against New Zealand, or in Wales last season.

As to opponents, the difference between Scottish hubris and expectations elsewhere was perhaps best summed up by the view expressed by Warren Gatland - a man who has played a huge part in changing how Irish, Welsh and, indeed, British rugby is seen over the past two decades – when in contrast to what some pundits were saying before the Six Nations, he told his injury-wracked squad ahead of the opener: “I think we’ll batter them.”

Similarly, there is the matter of the way rugby is officiated, with beaten teams frequently complaining about the way - in a sport in which players on both sides are committing technical infringements at most breakdowns - officials tend unwittingly to favour what they consider the better team. Constantly forced to make judgements as to which team is doing more cheating and the extent to which that is affecting the contest, it is human nature to believe that the inferior team is likely to have to offend more.

There will be a second opportunity against Wales in Cardiff this year in the inaugural Doddie Weir Cup match that kicks off the autumn Test series and I would not be in the least bit surprised if Scotland take it against what is now the number three side in the world rankings. In terms of those wider perceptions that might have been a bit more meaningful but for that dreadful slip up in Houston on two fronts, however.

Unsatisfactory as the current world ranking system is, had Scotland not lost as much ground as they did in Houston, they would have been within range of breaking into the top three for the first time ever heading into World Cup year. Furthermore, on the back of the desperately needed win in Italy and three tour successes, a victory in Cardiff in November could have been Scotland’s fifth in succession, which would have set them up for a real crack at history in the coming autumn Test series.

It is a rather shocking statistic that in close to 150 years of Test rugby, Scotland has never won more than six matches in succession, but given the way Murrayfield crowds have reacted to isolated victories in recent years, we can only imagine what sort of backing the home team might have expected had the headlines been about matching a record going into the first of the home matches against Fiji and, better still, breaking it when South Africa visited a week later.

While not quite at the sort of level that has seen Irish and Welsh rugby achieve umpteen Championship and Triple Crown wins, Grand Slams and Champions Cup triumphs, it would have changed the narrative which, understandably, remains rather condescending in terms of the praise emanating from pundits in particular in recent times.

Scotland having previously had considerable success in tour matches in Argentina in the past decade or so, history tells us that a very different Pumas team is likely to turn up at the World Cup next year. As Warren Gatland will probably remind us ahead of the next Test, we still await meaningful evidence that this Scotland squad is capable of putting together the sequence of wins required to take them to the next level in international rugby.