Scots unchanged for All Blacks game

Published: Thursday 13th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has kept the same starting XV that beat Argentina last week for Saturday’s clash with New Zealand at BT Murrayfield.

The Dark Blues registered an encouraging 41-31 win over the Pumas in Cotter’s home debut and the Kiwi coach will be hoping for more of the same when they take on his world-champion compatriots.

Greig Laidlaw – man of the match against the Argentines – will again skipper the side from scrum-half, while New Zealand-born duo Sean Maitland and Blair Cowan will have their loyalties tested as they come up against the All Blacks for the first time.

Cotter has, however, made four changes to his bench, with Glasgow Warriors forwards Fraser Brown (hooker) and Tim Swinson (lock) replacing Scott Lawson and Jim Hamilton – who spent just four minutes on the pitch against Argentina before being sin-binned – while Johnnie Beattie and Chris Cusiter come in for Alasdair Strokosch and the injured Henry Pyrgos (head knock).

Cotter said: “Last weekend we had the ball and looked dangerous, and showed great character to keep faith and confidence in our attacking philosophy.

“I really enjoyed watching the players play for each other against Argentina.

“They picked themselves up time and time again, and encouraged each other to keep on working for our collective cause.

“It was fantastic to see, as was our ability to get over the line and score tries, all of which contributed to a strong case for reselection.”

He continued: “We showed last weekend that we’re developing an attack than can cause opposition teams problems. If we can force the All Blacks into making errors then we can give ourselves a chance.

“In saying that, the All Blacks are the world’s best at exposing errors so we’ll also have to be absolutely clinical in both our decision making and execution if we are to go one better than the 1983 team that drew with New Zealand here at BT Murrayfield.”

Published: Thursday 13th November 2014 by The News Editor

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