Scotland 'will be better for Australia defeat' - Finn Russell

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Scotland fly-half Finn Russell and forwards coach Jon Humphreys reflect on Australia loss.
Scotland v Argentina
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 19 November Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC television, listen on BBC Radio Scotland and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Scotland will be a better team come next year's Six Nations if they learn to close out tight games, says fly-half Finn Russell.

Vern Cotter's men led until the last four minutes of their opening autumn Test before Tevita Kuridrani's try snatched victory for Australia.

The Scots play Argentina on Saturday and then Georgia a week later before a Six Nations opener against Ireland.

"We will take a lot of positives from the weekend," said Russell, 23.

"It was a good game against a very good team and we were ahead for a lot of the game.

"But there is a lot to learn about how to close out games with 10 minutes to go. The play-makers and decision-makers will look at that.

"If we get into the same situation against Argentina, we will do things differently, and hopefully with a different outcome.

"We have still got another two games before the Six Nations. But having such a tight game against Australia that we potentially should have won, we will definitely learn things from that and we will be a better team come the Six Nations."

Finn Russell takes on the Australia defence
Russell's attacking display was one of many positive aspects for Scotland

While Saturday's denouement at Murrayfield brought back painful memories of another one-point loss to the Wallabies at last year's World Cup, Russell does not believe there is any psychological barrier impeding the Scots

"Even when they scored the try I was still confident we could go down the other end and get a penalty or drop-goal or something," he said.

"Everyone is still gutted about it but the boys are generally pretty good at moving on. You have got a game next weekend so you can't dwell on it too much. That is the good thing about sport. You can make it right the next week.

"The boys are all smart enough rugby players to learn from it. We all know what we needed to do. We will look back over it, chat as a group and learn from it as a team. But I don't think we need the psychologists in."

Jonny Gray and Richie Gray prepare for a restart against Australia
Jonny (left) and Richie Gray made 47 tackles between them against Australia

Forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys was happy to highlight the many positive aspects of Scotland's display, including the "phenomenal" performances of second-row siblings Richie and Jonny Gray, and the first Test starts for props Allan Dell and Zander Ferguson.

"It is the best I have seen Richie play for a considerable period of time. And it isn't a one-off performance from Jonny - it is every single week, it is incredible," said the former Wales hooker.

"I thought the props stood out really well, and some of the stuff they did outside the set-piece was excellent. They really made a contribution."

But Humphreys acknowledged that most of Scotland's post-match debrief will focus on their failure to close out victory.

"It is not about learning to close a 20-point gap, but trying to close a one-point gap," he noted. "You are up against a very good team who have been together for a long period.

"We need to close out one of these tough games. Once we do that, the cloud lifts and everything becomes a little easier. But the players are working very hard on that.

"Every time we come together we seem to be growing and becoming more confident in what we are trying to do.

"It is about trying to keep on that journey and hopefully by the time the Six Nations comes around, we are making significant steps to mounting a really good campaign."

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Highlights: Scotland 22-23 Australia

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