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Scots ready to silence the doubters

Gregor Townsend believes Scotland are now playing knock-out rugby at the World Cup and can surprise the New Zealand public with victory in Sunday's vital Pool B clash with Argentina.

Victory over the Pumas in Wellington would ensure Scotland extend their record of reaching at least the quarter-finals at every World Cup ahead of the October 1 bout with England in Auckland.

Scotland attack coach Townsend said: "Now and again you catch the New Zealand television coverage of the World Cup and I think they're maybe reading a bit too much into our first two performances and have written us off as not getting through. We might use that as motivation, but we believe that these two matches are the challenges that we want to step up for."

He added: "This is like a quarter-final already - the loser is going to find it tough to get into the next stage of the tournament."

Scotland were beaten 19-13 by Argentina in the quarter-final in Paris four years ago as the Pumas went on to finish third in the tournament.

In June 2010, Scotland exacted their revenge, beating Argentina 2-0 to claim a first southern-hemisphere Test series success.

Townsend, head coach Andy Robinson and the players will take belief from the wins in South America, but know Argentina pose a more formidable challenge now.

Townsend, who won 82 Scotland caps, said: "Most of our players that are here were involved in that Test series.

"The players know what's needed, but we'll be reminding them this week that we need much more because Argentina are better than what they were a year ago.

"This will be a much tougher challenge than what we faced in Argentina."


From Belfast Telegraph