It only gets harder from here, warns Andy Robinson

IT'S good to know that for all the rigours of professional rugby some things never change and at the end of a long and largely successful season the Scottish players took the opportunity to unwind in style on Saturday night.

• Robinson shakes hands with captain Al Kellock after Scotland's historic triumph

It wasn't a matter of requesting anyone by name for Sunday morning's press conference it was more a matter of who could be roused from their bed at 9 o'clock in the morning.

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The players and management all had that slightly stunned air about them in the aftermath of their first series win on foreign soil although that too may have owed something to Saturday night. Andy Robinson admitted he finds it difficult to celebrate on the night of a Test but he was promising to make up for lost time on Sunday evening after the squad returned to Buenos Aires.

After one full season as Scotland coach Robinson has a 50 per cent record; played ten, won five, including the scalps of Argentina (twice) and Australia. His team also managed a draw against England. It's a good record but not dissimilar to Frank Hadden's first year in charge when the Scots won five from 11 including wins over England and France.

The big question is what happens from here?

"If we stand still we'll lose," said Robinson. "We won these games by small margins and we have a long, long way to go. If we don't improve we'll get blown away in the autumn tests and in the Six Nations and all that hard work we've done will be wasted. From here it only gets harder for the players. They have set themselves some standards and they have to live up to them."

Robinson has done a great job with the national squad over the past 12 months but he has not changed the fundamental nature of this team. Instead he has done running repairs, tightened the nuts and bolts rather than replaced the entire engine, made them cussed and difficult to beat. He has brought in Al Kellock who has given the side an aerial presence they previously lacked and he has been helped by Dan Parks' Lazarus-like renaissance which has been instrumental in Scotland's recent success.

The coach talked extensively about what lies behind recent results, "the competition for places is improving the team", mentioning the likes of Kelly Brown, Rory Lawson, Max Evans and Moray Low by name, but Scotland remain dreadfully over-exposed to Parks.

Robinson muttered about opportunities for younger playmakers to shine but in all honesty if the Aussie retired tomorrow Scotland would be scuppered. Phil Godman came to Argentina and sat on the subs bench for 160 minutes.

The steps the Englishman has introduced to date have been the easier ones to make and, as he intimated, the better Scotland get the more difficult any incremental improvements will become. While the forward pack is fabulously competitive the backs are still several streets behind the best in world rugby, too many bashers not enough finesse, vision and pace. It's the next thing on Robinson's agenda.

"We need to offer a better attacking threat from first phase plays," said the coach. "I am delighted with the quality of coaching that Gregor (Townsend] is offering but we have to nail the opportunities that come our way, we are not accurate enough.

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"We had chances in that first 20 minutes to really blow Argentina away and we didn't take them. We need a ruthlessness because we don't want to be a team that wins matches by a couple of points every time. We want to score tries and that will come with confidence."

This mini-tour was effectively a dry run in anticipation of next year's World Cup for both management and players. Robinson seems happy with his coaching staff and went out of his way to single out the efforts of Massimo Cuttitta, who helped the Scottish front row dominate Saturday's opposition. He also admitted the players in Argentina would form the core of the squad for New Zealand.

Asked if he has spotted any potential belters in the A team or Under-20 squad Robinson was blunt; "not really," was the reply, "but you should never say never".

The coach is already plotting and planning the autumn series that sees New Zealand and South Africa, the top two teams in world rugby, visit Murrayfield. "That's my focus for now," said Robinson, "planning how to beat them." It doesn't seem likely but two weeks ago neither did a series win in Argentina.