England v Scotland, Rugby World Cup, October 1
Robinson: We face a phenomenal challenge
September 30, 2011
Scotland coach Andy Robinson insists his players can deliver against England © Getty Images
The future is all that matters for Scotland head coach Andy Robinson as his side go in search of a victory over England which would extend their stay at the World Cup in New Zealand.
Scotland take on England in a must-win Pool B clash at Eden Park in Auckland, with Robinson hoping his side can progress to the quarter-finals at his former team's expense.
"You can never turn the clock back, you've always got to look forward," said Robinson, who was England head coach between September 2004 and November 2006 after being forwards coach in the 2003 World Cup-winning campaign. "Historians like looking back, I'm the type of guy who likes looking forward and looking forward to challenges that are there.
"The guys are in great shape and I'm really looking forward to seeing how we face what is a phenomenal challenge for us tomorrow. England-Scotland games have always had massive hype about them and this one is going to be a fantastic occasion. We all should look forward to the game.
"I really hope it's another cracking Test match; two teams going head to head that know each other pretty well. For us it's about finding the answers to break down this England side.
"If we can do that, we've got the players to finish off and that's what we'll focus on."
The ingredients are all present for a momentous occasion. The fixture is 140 years old, dating back to the first meeting at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh in 1871, yet this is the first time the two sides have met on neutral soil. The Calcutta Cup will not be at stake, but the prize of progression to the last eight of the tournament is incentive enough.
Should Scotland, who lost 13-12 to Argentina last weekend, win by more than eight points - thus denying England a losing bonus point - they would extend their record of reaching at least the quarter-finals at every World Cup. It is 25 years since Scotland beat England by more than eight points. Lose, without a bonus point, and Scotland would go home.
If Scotland claim a losing bonus point, Robinson's men would have to wait and hope Georgia can beat Argentina on Sunday. The agonising loss to the Pumas last Sunday - when Scotland led by six points with eight minutes to go - has been put behind them and Robinson is totally focused on victory over England.
"The guys are in good shape," he added. "We did a really good walk-through session in the middle of the hotel yesterday, which was cracking, walking and talking through scenarios. These are the games you do all the hard work and training for - to put yourselves in the position to take on a team with the class of England is great and they guys are fully up for it.
"All the boys are prepared to put their bodies on the line every time they play for Scotland. It feels absolutely fantastic that I'm involved in a side that's full of desire and enthusiasm to perform."
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