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Scotland slip to agonising defeat

Scotland must beat England to have any hope of progressing to the knockout stages of the World Cup after suffering an agonising 13-12 Pool B defeat to Argentina in Wellington.

Drop goals from Ruaridh Jackson and Dan Parks had put Scotland 12-6 ahead with eight minutes remaining but Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino's converted try seven minutes from time handed the Pumas a victory which maintains their hopes of qualification for the knockout stages.

Scotland claimed a losing bonus point and are now level on 10 points with Argentina, who play Georgia next Sunday.

Chris Paterson pushed a penalty wide after eight minutes, before Martin Rodriguez was off-target with a drop goal at the other end. Felipe Contepomi missed a long-range attempt before he was successful with an effort from in front of the posts to hand his side the lead after 19 minutes.

Scotland came back and Alastair Strokosch lost the ball forward, but Argentina prop Rodrigo Roncero was penalised at the subsequent scrum and Paterson levelled matters after 36 minutes. Jackson assumed the kicking duties for a 45-metre penalty after Argentina failed to release and he put Scotland in front for the first time one minute before the interval.

The rain continued to teem down and the match remained tight and cagey early in the second period. Paterson missed a drop-goal attempt from inside the Argentina 22 after Scotland had made inroads only to encounter stubborn defence.

Contepomi missed a penalty attempt before Scotland tighthead Geoff Cross was again penalised at the scrum for collapsing the front row. Contepomi levelled the scores, but Jackson restored Scotland's lead two minutes later with a drop goal.

Dougie Hall, on at hooker for Ross Ford, found Strokosch at the back of the line-out and Scotland attempted to rumble their way to the line before Mike Blair, on for Rory Lawson, found Parks who drilled over a drop goal.

It pushed Scotland six points clear, but from the restart Argentina won the ball, spread it wide and Gonzalez Amorosino evaded Paterson's attempted tackle and the covering Sean Lamont to score. Contepomi kicked the conversion to hand the Pumas a one-point lead.

Gonzalez Amorosino almost turned from hero to villain as he fumbled Parks' kick on his own line. Scotland's forwards won the line-out and moved into position for a drop-goal attempt. Under pressure, Parks had to make space for a left-foot shot at goal and missed and Scotland's chance was gone as the Pumas triumphed.


From Belfast Telegraph