Scotland rue missed opportunity
By Julie Clothier
PARIS, 8 October - Scotland depart France believing they have let slip a golden opportunity provided by the All Blacks' shock exit.
Coach Frank Hadden lamented on Monday the tournament favourites' 20-18 quarter-final defeat by France had opened a huge gap for the rest of the field - but his team had failed to exploit it against Argentina.
"I was pleased that New Zealand got beaten because that opened the door for us and everybody else," Hadden said before the team flew home to Edinburgh. "It's another reason why it's a missed opportunity for us.
"It was never going to be easy. Argentina put a lot of pressure against us. I have watched the game again and we made a number of elementary errors in the first half.
"I know we have made progress. We have bulked up our players, we have unearthed young fellows. It's a young side that needs to mature. It wasn't quite mature enough."
Hadden says the Scots have a bright future but first he plans to take some time off after an intense 18-month build-up to the tournament.
"There's no doubt in my mind that this team has shown it is capable of making progress," he said.
"No one is going to make rash decisions. It's been an incredibly emotional time. It is intense and it does take its toll and it's important nobody makes any rash decisions."
Prop Euan Murray said Scotland did not show their true colours at RWC 2007.
"I think we are capable of a lot more," he said.
"We didn't play to our potential but we are a relatively young squad. We've got relatively low experience in terms of numbers of caps. We just need to keep going in the right direction."