World Cup - Townsend: Scots can beat England

Mon, 26 Sep 16:59:00 2011

Shell-shocked Scotland have begun to look towards tackling England in Saturday's win or bust World Cup Pool B clash in Auckland following the crushing loss to Argentina.

Scotland's Nick De Luca reacts after losing their Rugby World Cup Pool B match against Argentina at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington September 25, 2011. - 0

A 13-12 defeat to the Pumas in Wellington means Scotland must beat England by a margin of eight points or more to ensure their progress to the quarter-finals.

Scotland attack coach Gregor Townsend said: "The players are really disappointed. There was a lot of emotion last night in the changing room. To put in that huge effort, to be leading for most of the game and then lose, there's no worse feeling in sport. But we're still in this tournament."

Scotland lost 22-16 to England at Twickenham in March and drew 15-15 at Murrayfield in the Six Nations in 2010.

And the rivals will meet at Eden Park on Saturday in the first match between the sides on neutral shores.

Townsend added: "We've got a goal - we must win and if we can win by more than seven then it puts us in with a really good position of going through. The boys will be focused and there will be a belief, given our performance at Twickenham this year and at Murrayfield the year before that, we can do it."

Should Scotland beat England by seven points - and thus deny them a losing bonus point - then Scotland and Argentina would progress to the knockout, assuming that Argentina earn a winning bonus point against Georgia on Sunday by scoring four tries.

England - Scotland

Scotland had to settle for a losing bonus point after Argentina overturned a six-point deficit to triumph, courtesy of a Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino try and Felipe Contepomi's conversion.

Scotland had an opportunity a minute from time to win, but under pressure from an apparently offside Argentina defence, Dan Parks' drop-goal attempt was off target.

Townsend added: "They never felt threatened the whole game apart from that one 30-second period. I never thought they were going to score a try, so that was very disappointing.

"We were in a position to win the game and we didn't execute that at the end."

Reuters

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