Rugby: Laidlaw's 'brutal' baptism

New Scotland rugby scrum half Greig Laidlaw admits some shine was taken off his debut cap by the overall team performance in a 49-3 hammering by New Zealand.

"New Zealand are a great side but we made them look a little bit better," said Laidlaw who emerged as a 38th-minute replacement for Edinburgh colleague Mike Blair (head knock).

Laidlaw added: "The speed they played at and the speed of their ruck ball put us under massive pressure.

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"New Zealand rugby is a brutal place and I'm just gutted with the result although it has left me wanting to pick up more caps."

Blair is among a string of players receiving treatment ahead of Saturday's visit from South Africa and also including Max Evans (shoulder), Rory Lamont (thigh), Hugo Southwell (hamstring) Richie Gray (thigh), John Barclay (ankle) and Alasdair Dickinson (shoulder).

"I wasn't really nervous when I came on," said Laidlaw.

"Before the game I hadn't been told anything about when or if I'd get on.

"That was by far the hardest game I've every played in.

"I wasn't expecting to get as long as I got but it has given me a taste for more.

"We were comprehensively beaten in the end but I'm obviously delighted to get my first cap.

"It wasn't quite the way I wanted it to happen but that's life.

"We struggled in defence, trying to slow the ball down. On the flipside, in our attack, they were slowing us down. I was having to go in and dig for the ball a bit and that was letting their defence get set." Meanwhile, the Springboks are today deciding on whether to send for a replacement for injured winger Bjorn Basson who suffered ankle damage in Saturday's 29-25 win over Wales.

The world champions had to come from 11 points down to record their latest victory and despite Scotland's weekend woes coach Peter De Villiers is urging caution. "It has been three weeks of hard work for the players and physically they have stood up well to the challenge and we can expect more of the same from Scotland," eh said.

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"The last time we were in Edinburgh there were only four points in the game (South Africa won 14-10] and we lost here in 2002 and we'll keep that at the front of our minds rather than anything else this week."