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Laidlaw eyeing All Blacks upset

Captain Greig Laidlaw insists the mighty All Blacks can be made to look ordinary - but only if Scotland execute their game plan perfectly.

No Dark Blues side has ever beaten the New Zealanders - an ignominious run of failure stretching back 29 Tests and 109 years.

But Gloucester scrum-half Laidlaw believes the world champion Kiwis can be toppled at Murrayfield this Saturday.

Steve Hansen's XV were pushed close by England at Twickenham last weekend before edging to a 24-21 win. But the Scotland captain has taken heart from the sloppy mistakes which marred their first half-display.

Now Laidlaw has urged his side to put the All Blacks under similar pressure in Edinburgh.

He said: "England put a lot of good line-speed on New Zealand in their defence and it showed a couple of times that the All Blacks can come up with errors just like everybody else. They are not superhuman.

"Having said that, they came back with a great second half and it was a good victory for them. We in the Scotland team know how hard it is to go down to Twickenham and win. We are under no illusions.

"But we have had a look at the tapes and come up with some things that can help us. Hopefully that might do the trick. We will wait and see."

He added: "We are going to have to be at 100 per cent to come anywhere close to winning the game. We have to be ready for whatever is thrown at us.

"But we also have to be ready to have a go at them as well. We have to try and put the All Blacks under pressure when we can."

The Scots will certainly march into their second autumn Test in buoyant mood following last weekend's 41-31 win over Argentina.

Five tries on new coach Vern Cotter's home debut highlighted the new expansive style the Kiwi is trying to implement.

Laidlaw himself looked a different player to the one who plodded through the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year.

With orders to get the ball moving quicker from the breakdown, the former Edinburgh number nine was the architect of two scores and added 14 points with the boot.

"It was up there with my best performances in a Scotland jersey," said the skipper - handed the honour again this weekend as Grant Gilchrist continues his recovery from a broken arm. "I was happy with how we all played.

"We were a little bit disappointed with some of the tries we conceded but we scored 41 points and some nice tries and overall we were in control of the game, so we are happy.

"Vern has given us the confidence to go and play and you saw that at the weekend.

"It is credit to him and his coaching staff for putting that performance together.

"But we have got our feet firmly fixed on the ground. We were extremely happy with the win over Argentina but it will be a different test altogether against the All Blacks."

Among the expected Scotland line-up who will stare down the Haka on Saturday will be two men who were born on New Zealand's North Island.

But Laidlaw dismissed the notion that Sean Maitland and Blair Cowan may suffer from divided loyalties.

"I've got no worries about that," he said. "They should be firmly focused on pulling on that Scotland jersey and wearing it with pride and passion."


From Belfast Telegraph