FORMER coach Jim Telfer is tipping Scotland to complete their rugby World Cup section unbeaten with a win against Argentina on Sunday followed by a first victory over England outwith Murrayfield since 1983.
But, having raised expectations, Telfer today fired a warning shot at the Scottish media in his weekly STV blog saying they should gloss over the back-to-back wins in Argentina on tour last year – the first time Scotland had won a Test series in the Southern Hemisphere.
“I hope that the Scottish press don’t harp back to that series in Argentina because we cannot go into the game with any complacency. At the weekend, both Ireland and South Africa showed that they were completely different teams from a few weeks ago.”
Telfer says of the successes so far against Romania and Georgia: “Let’s face it, Scotland were always going to win their two opening games against two minnows of world rugby.”
Looking ahead to the Pumas, he insists: “To win, we must play the game at pace and run the energy out of their forwards, especially their front row. Starting hooker (Mario) Ledesma, for example, is older than the coaches.”
Then Telfer adds: “Having also watched England play, I’m confident that we can win both remaining matches.”
As for the team his coaching successor, Andy Robinson, should pick on a day when Euan Murray will be unavailable on religious grounds, Telfer declared: “Jim Hamilton has been the outstanding lock in the first two games and should be chosen, possibly along with skipper Al Kellock, in the second row.
“Nathan Hines is getting old and doesn’t seem to have the same “dig” as he used to have, so I would choose Al Strokosch on the blind side to put a bit of “mongrel” into the pack.
“Kelly Brown and Ross Rennie bring a very good balance in the other two back row positions (and) there should be no debate in the front row with Alan Jacobsen, Ross Ford and Geoff Cross chosen.
“Chris Cusiter and Ruaridh Jackson would be my choices at halfback with a back three of Chris Paterson, Max Evans and Sean Lamont.
“The Argentinean backs will be handful but . . . if we can stop them getting front foot ball we should be all right.”