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Contepomi predicts battle between English, Scots

Updated: September 28, 2011, 01:18

PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand(AP) Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi predicts a "gruesome battle'' when England and Scotland meet on Saturday in a match which has the power to determine whether his Pumas squad progresses to the Rugby World Cup finals.

England, Scotland and Argentina remain in competition for quarterfinal places ahead of their last matches in Pool B this weekend which will finally decide which two teams progress and which goes home.

England plays Scotland on Saturday in a match that will most heavily influence that decision and which may exert considerable influence on Argentina's bid to match its third placing at the last World Cup in France.

The Pumas will know when they play Georgia in their final pool match on Sunday whether a simple win or a win with a bonus point will be necessary for them to advance.

For a man only partly in control of his own destiny, Contepomi is remarkably phlegmatic. He is also a little guarded when asked to pick whether he expects England or Scotland to win.

"Having played both I think they're two very tight teams,'' he said. "It will be a gruesome battle ... England are on the front foot but Scotland also have a chance.

"Anything can happen, it's a World Cup and especially Scotland and England have a very big history, they have very big battles. But, if anything, history tells that Scotland can beat them or England can take the advantage.''

Contepomi, a doctor, is familiar with the complicated mathematics which may be needed to decide which two teams progress from Pool B.

"If Scotland wins without a bonus point and denies England a bonus point and we don't win with a bonus point ... we all finish with 14 points,'' he said. "If Scotland beats them without a bonus point to England it will go on points difference between the three teams.

"We already won by one point (against Scotland) and lost by four (against Engalnd) so we are minus three and England would be minus more because they beat us by four and if they lose to Scotland by more than seven they are more than minus three.''

More succinctly, he says: "I think we just have to win.''

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