herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

South Africa win gives Scots belief for England

HEAD coach Andy Robinson has urged his Scotland team to take belief from past performances into their must-win World Cup bout with England in Auckland on Saturday.

Following the agonising loss to Argentina in Wellington last Sunday, Scotland must beat England by eight points or more -- thus denying England a losing bonus point -- to be certain of advancing to the quarter-finals from Pool B.

Robinson is taking comfort from last November, when Scotland were beaten 49-3 by New Zealand before bouncing back a week later with a 21-17 defeat of South Africa. He said: "I think you just have to look at what happened after we played the All Blacks last year, where we were comfortably beaten. The following week we beat South Africa and we beat them with a comprehensive performance from everybody.

"We know what we need to do and there is total trust in the whole squad that mentally and physically they are able to rise to the challenge.

He added: "We will all take heart in what Ireland did against England at the end of the Six Nations and the way we played at Twickenham."

Robinson is set to name his team on Thursday, with Kelly Brown the main concern. The Saracens number eight's participation depends on how he recovers from a head knock sustained against Argentina. Richie Gray had to come off with a hamstring injury and could also be a doubt.



Faletau deflects plaudits as Fiji becomes Wales' focus

Toby Faletau readily deflected praise in other directions after another strong individual display helped Wales claim a record World Cup win at the expense of hapless Namibia.

The Newport Gwent Dragons number eight scored one of Wales' 12 tries as they cruised home 81-7 at Stadium Taranaki to remain firmly on course for a quarter-final place. But despite emerging as a star performer of Wales' World Cup, the 20-year-old said: "You cannot take anything for granted. There is competition throughout the side, and some of the boys that started (against Namibia) stepped up."

Faletau is among only four players who have started all Wales' Pool D games so far, although coach Warren Gatland was able to ring the changes during a second half when his team scored 59 points.

"I am happy to play through every game if that's what they want," Faletau added. "You don't get to play in World Cups much.

"Fiji (Wales' next opponents) always chuck the ball around, so that will be a threat we will have to keep an eye on."

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