Andy Robinson calls on Scotland to believe

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The Independent Online

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 has put the shock loss to the Pumas behind him and refocused on Saturday's clash at Eden Park, 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 world champions South Africa.



Speaking on the team's arrival in Auckland today, Robinson 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.



"Everybody understands that it is still in our control and we've got to go out and put in a top performance on Saturday against England."



For Robinson victory - and progression at the expense of England - could be all the sweeter.



The former Bath flanker was assistant coach when England won the World Cup in 2003, but was relieved of his role as head coach in November 2006 following nine wins in 22 games.



Asked whether he will be making contact with any of his former colleagues in the England camp in the lead-up to the game, Robinson said: "I don't speak to people at the best of times."



His reputation was restored in Scotland, firstly with Edinburgh, before he was persuaded to succeed Frank Hadden in 2009.



After a number of memorable wins, including over the Springboks, Robinson must now mastermind an escape from an early elimination to avoid his Scotland side becoming the first not to progress to the World Cup knockout stages.



The focus, initially at least, is merely about winning.



He added: "The first thing we have got to do is win the game. And that is how we will approach this, we have got to look at how we will win the game.



"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 against England."



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 late on against Argentina.



Richie Gray had to come off with a hamstring injury and could also be a doubt.



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