Blair wants fast start for Scots

Mike Blair knows Scotland have to get out of the blocks quickly if they are to have any chance of beating the All Blacks next month. [more]

Blair wants fast start for Scots

Mike Blair knows Scotland have to get out of the blocks quickly if they are to have any chance of beating the All Blacks next month.

The reigning World Champions head to Murrayfield on Sunday, November 11 as Scotland search for what would be an historic victory.

The Scots have never tasted glory against the Kiwis and Blair admits their chances of bucking that trend will be limited if they don’t improve on the starts they have made in the same fixture in recent years.

"One of the key things you look at is the start," Blair told the Scotsman.

"When we played in 2010 I think they scored three tries in the first 15 minutes and we were 21-0 down.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"In 2008 I think we got a penalty first, but then they scored two relatively quick tries and we were 14-3 down after about 10 minutes. I think it was pretty similar in 2005 as well.

"After 15 minutes you have to be drawing or at least within touch. Once you get to that stage you start building, and as the game goes on the opposition become more human. You start thinking, 'hold on here, we're in this' and the belief starts growing in you."

That build up of confidence is absolutely crucial if Scotland are to rewrite the history books in a week-and-a-half’s time.

Australia showed that the All Blacks are fallible when they scored an 18-all draw in Brisbane on October 20 and Scotland’s successful summer tour has led to greater hopes of an impressive autumn.

No-one tipped the Scots to beat the Wallabies in Newcastle in June yet Blair and co did just that. And while toppling the global kings would be an even greater achievement, the 2005 Lions scrum-half knows that goal will be nothing but a pipe dream unless it is accompanied by a decent helping of self belief.

"The Australia win showed incredible attitude and strength of character, while beating Fiji and Samoa in the heat was great for us,” added Blair.

"There’s also a real sense of anticipation because everyone is desperate to find out how good we are and where are we in the global pecking order at the moment. Can we take on these guys and push them all the way?

"You need to have the belief that you can. I’m wary of what I say in these circumstances because the headline then says we can or we are going to beat the All Blacks.

“Everyone is very aware of how good New Zealand are. They are comfortably the best team in the world and we have to have a belief that we can be in the game. But we are under no illusions about how hard it will be.”

Previous story England’s Ashton fears
Next story Stopping Pocock is key – Moody
Download