Cusiter inspired by Irish heroics
September 18, 2011
Chis Cusiter celebrates with Simon Danielli during last weekend's narrow win over Romania © Getty Images
Chris Cusiter has revealed that Scotland's players have taken huge encouragement out of Ireland's upset victory over Australia ahead of their clash with Argentina.
The Irish produced a stunning performance to defeat the Wallabies 15-6 in Auckland on Saturday to blow the Rugby World Cup draw wide open, with the top sides in the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere's finest now set to be kept apart in the knockout stages up until the final.
However, Ireland's shock win has had added effect of inspiring a Scotland side readying themselves for a monumental battle with Argentina in in Wellington. The Pumas might not be as highly rated as Tri-Nations champions Australia but they are a southern hemisphere side to be reckoned with, having finished third in the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, and Cusiter is under no illusions as to the enormity of the task facing the Scots.
"We saw Ireland last night beating Australia, which was great for the northern hemisphere," the Glasgow Warriors scrum-half told Press Association Sport. "We're hoping to strike another blow for the north on Sunday.
"We know how big a challenge it's going to be, but we're prepared. We're in a good place. We know we can beat them.
"We've got a lot of confidence but we certainly need to pull out our best performance of the World Cup so far on Sunday."
Cusiter is by no means a certain starter against the Pumas as he is currently locked in a tight three-way battle for the Scotland No.9 jersey with Rory Lawson and Mike Blair. However, he is hoping that he did enough after coming on as a replacement in his country's tournament opener against Romania to put himself into contention for the game against Argentina.
"I thought I played well against Romania in the last 20 minutes - I was really pleased with my impact there," he said. "It's all you can do - you go out and play as well as you can and hope you get selected. I'll keep training hard and hope for an opportunity this week."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside