Six Nations 2015: Scotland need reaction in England, says Laidlaw

Gloucester scrum-half Greig Laidlaw also insists Scotland are going in the right direction despite three defeats from three

Greig Laidlaw has called on his Scotland team-mates to bounce back from their disappointing start to the RBS 6 Nations against England on Saturday.

The Dark Blues captain and scrum-half returned to Scotland after seeing his club Gloucester throw away a 26-3 lead to draw 33-33 with Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday, but it hasn’t been a great championship for the Scots with three defeats in their opening three matches.

I am not sure if it is a good or a bad time to be facing them after their defeat in Dublin.

Greig Laidlaw on facing England

It is a dramatic drop in fortune for Scotland since New Zealander Vern Cotter took charge last summer, winning five of his first seven matches in charge with the only defeats coming against South Africa and New Zealand.

While many wouldn’t have given Scotland much chance against France and Wales, the manner of their disappointing 22-19 defeat to Italy at BT Murrayfield last time out is still fresh in the mind.

And their task at Twickenham later this week won’t be easy against an England side reeling from being outplayed by Ireland in Dublin, also looking to bounce back with a win to keep their title challenge alive rather than salvaging some pride.

“We need to see a reaction after the defeat to Italy,” Laidlaw said.

“We know it is not going to be easy against an England team playing at home with a big pack of forwards.

“I am not sure if it is a good or a bad time to be facing them after their defeat in Dublin, but they will be hurting and keen to get their championship challenge back on track.”

The defeat in the “wooden spoon decider” to Italy now leaves Scotland facing the ignominy of a whitewash, with reigning champions Ireland heading to BT Murrayfield on the final day of the championship on Saturday 21 March.

We have been doing lots of good stuff and we feel we are going in the right direction.

Greig Laidlaw on Scotland’s 2015 campaign so far

Scotland’s record against England doesn’t make for great reading, with their last win coming at BT Murrayfield in March 2008, while the sides played out a 15-15 draw at the same venue two years later.

The Dark Blues haven’t derailed England’s chariot at HQ for 32 years when a 22-12 win in the old Five Nations was their only win in the championship helping condemn the Red Rose to the wooden spoon in 1983.

It is a win that Laidlaw should be quite familiar with as his uncle Roy Laidlaw, also a scrum-half, scored one of the Calcutta Cup’s “greatest tries” in the opinion of rugby commentator Bill McLaren.

It also gave some hope of what was to come a year later as Scotland won the Grand Slam in 1984.

With England again odds on to secure a win, only the most ardent of Scotland supporters will truly believe Cotter and his charges can leave south-west London with anything this year, but many would take a whitewash this year if it brings a first championship title since 1999 in 12 months’ time.

And, despite the results from the opening three rounds, Laidlaw insists that Scotland can still take positives from the championship and can put together a game plan to cause Stuart Lancaster’s side some problems, but he doesn’t expect it to be centred around the aerial battle that was a major factor in the Red Rose’s downfall at the Aviva Stadium.

“Ireland won the aerial battle against them, but we lost it against Wales,” he added.

“I am not sure if there will be anything to gain from that.

“We will put together a plan, one we believe we can win with.

“We have been doing lots of good stuff and we feel we are going in the right direction.”

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