Laidlaw eyes Wallabies scalp

Date published: November 8 2016

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Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw believes his side will be well prepared for their clash with Australia after having extra days on the training field.

Murrayfield is set to be packed for the fixture as the Scots look to kick-off their November internationals with a victory over the Wallabies.

And scrum-half Laidlaw feels his men are ready for the challenge.

“We’ll be ready when Saturday comes around. We’re getting close and the extra days last week [in camp] mean we’re in a better place than we’ve been before going into the first games of Championships,” he told Scottish Rugby‘s website.

“We had a pretty good hit out today to mirror our game plan, we’re excited and, when we hit the ground on Saturday, we’ll be ready to go.”

Although Australia have had less time to prepare for this game, they have had greater match action recently in the form of the Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup and last week’s impressive win over Wales.

“That’s certainly one of the challenges. Australia have a played a lot of rugby,” added Laidlaw.

“They had a fantastic result at the weekend against Wales and played well so I’m sure they’ll be happy with where they’re at but we’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves.

“We can’t be worrying too much about what they’re going to do.

“You’re always trying to get that upper hand, that slight edge here or there, so we’ve come up with a couple of plays that we think can cause them problems. But it comes down to skill-sets and being able to execute them on the day.”

He added: “The quarter-final is in the past. Any time you play a quality team like Australia, or any time you play for Scotland for that matter, you want to win.

“If we take the emotion away from the game, it was a game we were in and it’s a game we very much could have won, so we can use that as a positive as we were in the game for 80 minutes, but we understand that, defensively, we need to be stronger this time around as well.

“We gave away five tries that day so Australia are probably thinking they can cause us problems so we need to be really tight on our defence and really tight on our driving maul and forward play so we’re not giving away cheap points.

“We’re trying to move the whole team and the whole squad forward so it’s a massively important game for us.

“Australia are a good side, with good players that are well coached but it’s a game of rugby on the weekend and an important game for Scotland.

“We’re delighted to be playing at home in front of our people and when our studs hit the ground on the weekend we’ll be going out there to meet fire with fire.”

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