Victory proves Pumas World Cup credentials

Jubilant Argentina coach Santiago Phelan believes his team can stage another strong World Cup challenge.


He delivered his verdict after watching the Pumas wreck Scotland’s autumn clean-sweep bid on Saturday with a 9-6 win at Murrayfield.


On their way to a third place finish in France two years ago, Argentina beat Scotland – and the nations are drawn in the same group in the 2011 tournament in New Zealand.


So Phelan reckons the Edinburgh success can act as a psychological springboard.


“This was a huge result for us as we look forward to the next World Cup,” he said.


“We were without several of our main players, so it is heartening to know that we have such strength in depth.


“The boys didn’t enjoy the greatest of luck against England and Wales, however they deserved to beat the Scots through sheer hard work and determination.”


The hosts had been confident of landing their first mini Grand Slam since 2002 after their triumphs over Fiji and Australia.


But they were given a reality check as they look ahead to the Six Nations campaign.


Scotland coach Andy Robinson was bitterly disappointed.


He said: “It was tremendous to beat Fiji and Australia – but we badly wanted to make it three in a row.


“It was very frustrating, but we only had ourselves to blame for not getting points on the board when we were on top.


“The fact that we created chances and couldn’t take them is a concern. We then allowed Argentina back into the match and to their credit they got points when it mattered most.


“Argentina did what they are good at – whereas we didn’t.


“My players ARE capable of beating anyone, but you won’t beat anyone if you don’t make the most of your opportunities.”


Scotland winger Sean Lamont shrugged off his man-of-the-match award to echo Robinson’s view.


“The Argentinians came out with all guns blazing after the interval and we simply didn’t respond,” he said.


“It was a hugely disappointing end to our autumn campaign because we badly wanted to complete the clean sweep.


“The biggest letdown was our inability to take our chances.” To add to the Scots’ woes, the Rory Lamont injury jinx struck again.


The full-back – who has been forced to endure a series of lengthy lay-offs – suffered a suspected broken ankle after being sandwiched in a challenge and is likely to miss the start of the championship.


Phil Godman’s penalty double had given Scotland a first-half platform -only for Martin Rodriguez to match his feat and clinch victory with a late drop-goal.

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