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Laidlaw admits Scots need to up their game despite victory

Scotland 32-26 France

Seeking improvements: Scotland’s Greg Laidlaw
Seeking improvements: Scotland’s Greg Laidlaw

By Will Jackson

A relieved Greig Laidlaw has demanded improvements from Scotland despite seeing them come from behind to see off France in the NatWest Six Nations.

It took a faultless display of kicking from the recalled Laidlaw to get Scotland's campaign back on track with a 32-26 win over Les Bleus in Edinburgh following another slow start.

Scotland went into the game on the back of a humiliating defeat in Cardiff last week, and it looked as though they might be in for another tough afternoon after going 10-0 behind in the opening minutes before the scrum-half led the fightback with 22 points from the boot along with tries from Huw Jones and Sean Maitland.

France faded badly after flying out of the blocks with a brace from winger Teddy Thomas, and Laidlaw admitted the hosts need to improve against tournament favourites England in two weeks time if they are to pick anything up from the game.

"We can beat anyone but I think we will have to play better to beat England," the former skipper said. "England are a good team and have showed what a great defence they have.

"We might need to look at kicking options and play smartly when that game rolls around but for the minute, we will analyse ourselves in depth and come back better in a couple of weeks."

He added: "The second half performance was good, (but) we'll have to look at the first half.

"England are playing really well again. Clearly they're on a big run so it'll be a tough game, but is it a game if we turn up and play the right rugby we're going to be in? I believe so."

Laidlaw's inclusion marked an intention to deviate slightly from the free-flowing rugby that Scotland impressed with during the autumn, and it eventually paid off as they got their first win of the campaign to the relief of the players, who were 26-20 down with 20 minutes to go before their superior fitness told.

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