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Scotland now face early exit

Scotland's dejected players immediately turned their attentions to beating England in Auckland next Saturday after a loss to Argentina which left them facing World Cup elimination.

Andy Robinson's men must win against the auld enemy to have any hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals after surrendering a six-point lead with eight minutes remaining to lose to the Pumas in torrential rain at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Scotland collected a losing bonus point and are tied with Argentina on 10 points, while England lead Pool B on 14 points, but with their qualification not yet assured.

Some consolation for Scotland's players for their heart-wrenching loss was that qualification remains possible in six days' time.

Scotland prop Allan Jacobsen said: "It's pretty low, but you've just got to pick yourself up and get on with it.

"We need to get past this, recover, analyse, whatever, but we need to get ready for Saturday in Auckland. It's cup final time for us.

"We're playing England in a do-or-die match in the World Cup - it's not like you have to (be motivated)."

Amid the wreckage of yesterday's loss, Jacobsen attempted to find some positives.

"We did a lot right tonight. I feel like everyone gave everything and fought hard," he added.

"I feel like we put so much in and it was not quite enough.

"We made one mistake and let them in for that try and that was the ball game."

Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino's match-winning try came amid what Scotland head coach Andy Robinson described as "30 seconds of madness".

Scotland failed to collect the restart following a Dan Parks drop goal which had handed them a six-point lead, Graeme Morrison was penalised for offside and the Pumas worked it wide where Gonzalez Amorosino rounded Chris Paterson and two covering defenders to score in the right corner.

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Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi converted successfully to give his side a one-point lead.

Scotland had an opportunity to triumph, but Parks missed a drop goal one minute from time as it appeared Argentina gambled by straying offside.

Parks was forced onto his left foot and the penalty was not given, meaning Argentina survived.

Parks said: "There are different things you try in different games. You play on the edge of the law.

"I haven't seen the replay, but there certainly was a lot of pressure. And if you get away with it, fair play."

While the loss leaves Scotland facing elimination at the World Cup group stages for the first time, England could also exit the competition prematurely.

If Scotland beat Martin Johnson's side at Eden Park by more than seven points - the margin of defeat required to gain a losing bonus point - and Argentina claim a four-try bonus-point win over Georgia on Sunday, it will be England who go home.

It is 25 years since Scotland beat England by the required margin.

Scotland full-back Paterson said: "World Cups are all about winning. We have to win next week, we have to win well next week and we'll do all we can to try and do that."

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