Robinson hails Scots' rise in rankings

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The Independent Online

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson saluted his players' hunger to improve after their shock victory over South Africa on Saturday propelled them to their highest world ranking.

Scotland have climbed two places in the International Rugby Board rankings to sit sixth in the world following the 21-17 win over the world champions, leapfrogging Argentina and Ireland.

Robinson said: "What pleases me is the attitude and determination of our squad to keep improving. You climb the rankings by winning games and it is very important that we build on this result by delivering again when we face very tough opponents in Samoa in Aberdeen on Saturday."

South Africa have fallen to third, behind New Zealand and Australia, while England and France occupy the other top-five places. Ireland slipped beneath Scotland as they fell from sixth to seventh following their defeat by New Zealand on Saturday.

The men in green's threequarter resources may be tested to the limit for the game against Argentina on Sunday after a host of injuries was sustained against the All Blacks.

An autumn-best performance against the Kiwis, who still emerged 38-18 winners, has come at some cost, with Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney suffering knee injuries.

The Leinster duo will be missing when the ever-physical Pumas arrive in Dublin and they could be joined on the sidelines by Brian O'Driscoll, Tommy Bowe and Gordon D'Arcy. O'Driscoll is nursing a bruised shoulder while Bowe and D'Arcy have calf strains. An update on the trio's availability is expected today.

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