Scotland keen to shake off ‘slow starters’ tag

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw is confident his team won't be caught napping
Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw is confident his team won't be caught napping
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Captain Greig Laidlaw insists Scotland are determined to shake their reputation as slow starters and get their autumn Tests series off to a flying start against Australia at BT Murrayfield on Saturday

Down the years, Scotland have been notorious for losing opening games, in both Six Nations and Test series, with the resulting knock to confidence leaving the squad on the back foot.

While the skipper accepts that nothing can replicate matchplay, and acknowledges Australia have the benefit of last weekend’s 32-8 triumph in Wales under their belts, he feels that extra time spent preparing at the new Oriam performance centre has them in good shape.

Coach Vern Cotter and the squad had three days together last week ahead of the build-up ramping up from Monday and Laidlaw said: “Looking back, when I spoke to Vern about what we needed this time around I just said more time together, more rugby specific stuff.

“In the past, we’ve worried about fitness elements and stuff like that but this time it’s been a really heavy rugby focus from day one. Just getting that understanding of playing together and that’s going to be key, we’ll need that from the start.”

That Wallaby display in Cardiff has the Scots on high alert and Laidlaw feels that Wales were caught a bit cold. “We’re definitely conscious to try and avoid that,” he added.

“We’ve looked at that Welsh game in depth and I’m sure Wales were disappointed.

“They played with a lot of commitment and great determination but they probably just lacked a little bit of understanding and that’s the difficulty of coming into that first game.”