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Greig Laidlaw feeling confident as Scotland find ways to win in Six Nations

Skipper Greig Laidlaw believes Scotland now have the problem-solvers they will need if they are to stay out of trouble in Paris.

The Dark Blues take on France this Saturday hoping to make it two RBS 6 Nations wins out of two.

For a team that had won just two of its previous 12 Championship encounters, that would represent some remarkable progress.

But Laidlaw reckons it is the consequence of the crucial lessons Vern Cotter's men have learned about seeing out matches when they come to the crunch.

The Scots found themselves under pressure at the scrum early during Saturday's Murrayfield clash with Ireland and then again when Joe Schmidt's side came roaring back against them in the second-half.

It looked as if they were on for a repeat of the devastating late losses they twice suffered against Australia over the past 18 months.

But Laidlaw was encouraged to see his team figure out their flaws before coming up with the right answer that saw them claim a stirring 27-22 win.

He said: "In the first half against Ireland we were really skilful and caused them a whole host of problems and managed to build a lead on the scoreboard which was hugely important.

"Where I feel the team has made massive strides is being able to dig ourselves out of a hole. After allowing Ireland to come back at us, we managed to get field positions and eventually see out the win, so it's pleasing to know we can perform in these situations.

"We understand how we can win games from being behind.

"We need everything we had from the Ireland game and take that forward into the French game.

"There are things we feel as though we can still improve on. In a tournament like the Six Nations there is no respite, we've beaten Ireland and enjoyed it, our feet are back on the ground now and we know what's required for the task ahead."

The Scots lapped up Saturday's victory, understandably so having waited 11 years to kick-off a Six Nations campaign with a win.

But Laidlaw knows his team cannot dwell on that triumph too long as they prepare to face a French side who appear to have rediscovered their joie de vivre following the sorry end to Philippe Saint-Andre's tenure as head coach.

The Gloucester scrum-half : "It's about not worrying too much about the game you've just won. It's about looking forward to this game which is coming up and it's going to be very tough.

"France have improved massively under Guy Noves and they aren't far away from any team they are playing. They have some very dangerous strike runners throughout their team.

"They have become a really dangerous team and can cause anyone problems. "

The Scots have not toasted victory in Paris for 18 long years but Laidlaw reckons hushing the Stade de France crowd will be key if they are to end up partying like it is 1999.

"The start of the game is massively important when you travel away to France," he said. "The first thing you do in the game is psychologically just as important for them as it is for us.

"We need to stay in the game, play in the right areas and not muck about for the first 20 minutes then we'll put them under pressure and upset their crowd a little bit.

"The Stade de France is a great stadium, it's open and in terms of real noise you don't hear it as much as you do at other stadiums.

"Scotland haven't won in Paris since 1999, it was a long time ago and there's a reason for that, it's because France are a good side and it's a difficult place to go and win.

"We are under no illusions, we need to be on top of our game to get anything out of it."

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