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Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Sunday, 20 June 2010 19:28 UK

Scots' World Cup warning

Ali Kellock lifts the trophy after the test win in Argentina
Ali Kellock (right) has proved to be a winning captain

By Clive Lindsay

Scotland posted a warning to rugby's top nations ahead of next year's World Cup with their Test series win in Argentina, according to former Lions coach Jim Telfer.

But the former Scotland coach believes it will be difficult to move further up the world rankings unless Andy Robinson's side start to score more tries.

"It is hugely significant," he said after Saturday's 13-9 win completed a double over the Pumas.

"It is the first time we have won two internationals in a row in the southern hemisphere and Argentina is a hostile place to do it.

"It might not have been the classic rugby of Australia or New Zealand, but it has proved that Scotland can compete with the top nations."

We won't advance much further unless we can introduce that killer touch

Former Scotland coach Jim Telfer

The Scots failed to score a single try in their 24-16 first-Test win and Jim Hamilton was the only man to cross the try line in the second.

"The difficulty will be beating one of the top five as there is a big distance between them and the rest of the teams," said Telfer.

"We are about seven or eight - that is about our level - and it will be difficult to improve on that.

"We won't advance much further unless we can convert pressure into points, introduce that killer touch and open up defences the way some other teams do.

"The likes of Wales and Ireland in recent seasons have been able to kill a team off and we have not been able to do that. That's my great worry.

"Our backs have to look at themselves and improve their rugby skills, individually and collectively."

Even so, Telfer thinks Scotland's former England coach has them going in the right direction.

"Andy Robinson has made a huge difference since he came in," he said. "Good coaches get players to play for them and play the way they want them to play and he is doing that.

"The French experience at football's World Cup at the moment shows what happens when players don't get on well together and with the coach.

Dan Parks slots home another penalty
Fly-half Parks kicked most of Scotland's points in Argentina

"Robinson arrived with a very good CV. He has always been a good coach, but Brian Moore once said that he was a good coach but a poor selector.

"Well, with Scotland, he doesn't have so many players to pick from.

"What this team has is great character. It has very good hard men, mentally hard men, Brown and Barclay especially.

"And Ali Kellock has been a revelation as captain. In some countries, he might not have got near the starting XV as he is good at the lineout and does not do much else, but he has shown himself to be an inspirational leader."

Telfer believes the signs are good ahead of the World Cup finals, where Scotland will again meet Saturday's opponents in the opening group stage.

"Argentina are not the force they once were and might not be again for some time to come," he said.

"Where Argentina fall down is that they don't have a professional domestic league and their players have to travel round the world to compete at the top level.

"We might have only two professional teams, but combinations of the players can be used to the benefit of the Scotland coach.

"That's why I am so disappointed that Dan Parks is leaving Glasgow Warriors for Cardiff this summer.

"Parks, Cusiter, Morrison and Evans working week in, week out together makes Andy Robinson's job that much easier.

"For the same reason, I am disappointed that Jim Hamilton is joining Gloucester and not developing his game with Edinburgh."

Telfer is now looking forward to seeing the Scots' progress further examined by the All Blacks as part of their autumn Test series.

"There have been lots of plusses on the tour and hopefully they can carry that on to the next game against New Zealand," he added.

"They had to withstand a heavy bombardment in the second half of the match on Saturday.

"They were hanging on at the end, but to make history is not easy. You have to put bodies on the line and they did that."



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see also
Highlights - Argentina 9-13 Scotland
19 Jun 10 |  Scotland
Robinson praises battling Scots
21 Jun 10 |  Scottish
Argentina 9-13 Scotland
19 Jun 10 |  Scottish


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