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Robinson gets players match-ready

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson attempted to put his players through a match scenario in training this week in a bid to stave off any rustiness when they face New Zealand.

Scotland kick off their autumn Test series a week on Saturday when they host an All Blacks side who will have played twice in the previous fortnight. The tourists suffered their first defeat of 2010 when they lost 26-24 to Australia in Hong Kong last weekend and face England at Twickenham on Saturday.

"It's something that mustn't be neglected," Robinson said. "It's something we have to look at in our planning. We can't start slowly. We must start well and that's what we have been working towards."

Scotland have not played since their series victory in Argentina in June and Robinson took the lay-off into account as he gathered his squad together for a three-day training camp in St Andrews this week.

"We have physically been able to put that into training, at times we have been training quite hard," he added.

"We worked full-on for a certain amount of time on Tuesday in order to replicate that game experience."

However, the five-month gap between internationals has not derailed his players' confidence following their first series win in the southern hemisphere.

Robinson has noted a surge in confidence in his players since taking over and their Argentina triumph, which followed victory over Ireland in Dublin and a draw against England in the RBS 6 Nations, has accelerated the process.

"There's real confidence amongst the squad," he said. "They have a lot of self-belief, and there's a great team spirit.

"I felt the team spirit was here when I first got involved and I have loved that. There is a belief and they all want to get on that pitch and perform. I have been enjoying seeing that belief and how it's growing."

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