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LionsWatch: Laidlaw insists progressing Scots need luck

LionsWatch: Laidlaw insists progressing Scots need luck

Captain Greig Laidlaw was left ruing Scotland’s luck after Tevita Kuridrani’s late score handed them a 23-22 loss to Australia in Edinburgh.

"Everybody needs that bit of luck."

Captain Greig Laidlaw was left ruing Scotland’s luck after Tevita Kuridrani’s late score handed them a 23-22 loss to Australia in Edinburgh.

Vern Cotter’s side were ahead for much of the afternoon at BT Murrayfield, racing out to a 10-0 lead thanks to an inspired start from man of the match Huw Jones on his second cap.

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The hosts were forced into early changes as Ryan Wilson departed, but John Hardie, Hamish Watson and John Barclay turned in a fine collective performance in the back row, while 2013 British & Irish Lion Richie Gray and brother Jonny contributed 47 tackles.

And at 22-16 ahead with five minutes remaining, they looked set for a third win against the Wallabies in five encounters, but Michael Cheika’s side rallied and Kuridrani went over under the posts before Foley added the simple kick to break Scottish hearts.

Despite the tough loss, Laidlaw highlighted the way his side had improved over the course of Cotter’s tenure and believes his side will are edging ever closer to a watershed win.

"As players we understand where we are," he said. "We believe we are so much better and so much more organised.

"We know exactly what each other is doing and we feel that is starting to come though in our performances.
"We're pretty much in every single game we play now.

"It's just about getting that little bit of luck. Everybody needs that bit of luck.

"One of my kicks clipped the inside of the post. It was the thickness of a lick of paint away from going through. If it had we were probably home and hosed. But unfortunately we just coughed up a try at the end.

"We feel we are so close but we're massively frustrated.”

MATCH REPORT | Scotland edged out by Australia in epic display at BT Murrayfield | https://t.co/L4IeAptUUz #AsOne pic.twitter.com/4qc4R70S90

— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) 12 November 2016

Jones’ performance was one of many bright spots, the Stormers centre running for 61 metres – bettered only by 2013 Lion Stuart Hogg’s tally of 87 metres – and linking up well with Glasgow Warriors centre Alex Dunbar.

He beat Israel Folau to Finn Russell’s well weighted chip kick for his first before finding a hole in the Wallabies’ defence as Scotland ramped up the pressure for his second.

And with Zander Fagerson winning just his second cap, Allan Dell his first and Watson his third, Jones admitted having the experienced Dunbar alongside him was a major help.

“It's nice to have senior guys around you, guys who have played a few Tests," he said.

"They definitely do help you trough the game. Quite tough to hear them on the field at times, when the crowd starts roaring but they definitely help.

"I thought that personally I had a fairly good game, but it's a team game at the end of the day."
 

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