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Scotland optimistic for future

Scotland's deflated players will arrive home this week following their Rugby World Cup exit but sharing head coach Andy Robinson's optimism for the future.

A third-placed finish in Pool B behind England and Argentina meant Scotland failed to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. But Robinson saw enough to retain his belief he can make Scotland the best team in the northern hemisphere.

"Everybody's down," Scotland hooker Ross Ford said. "It's gutting to be going home this early in the World Cup competition. It will take a little bit of time to get over, but I think everybody in the squad realises how good we could be."

He added: "It will take hard work but if Andy sees enough in the players; the players believe in their own abilities as well.

"It's doable we can become the top team or challenge to become the top team in the northern hemisphere."

Scotland's exit was confirmed by Argentina's win over Georgia.

But late defeats to the Pumas and England, who won 16-12 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, were the undoing of Scotland - lapses of concentration accounting for each of the losses.

Ford added: "It's a mental thing, being in that zone for the full 80 minutes, totally concentrated on the goal in hand and what's happening there and then."

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