Scotland v Australia: Hosts can draw on World Cup heartache - Greig Laidlaw

Scotland players after the match
Scotland lost their World Cup quarter-final in the last minute after a controversial penalty award
November Test series - Scotland v Australia
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 12 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One and BBC Sport website and app; Radio Scotland and Radio 5 live Sports Extra commentary; plus live text commentary

Captain Greig Laidlaw admits Scotland's heartbreaking World Cup quarter-final loss will act as motivation when they meet Australia again on Saturday.

But he says blocking out the emotion and drawing on how close they came to beating the Wallabies will help them launch their autumn series in style.

Laidlaw previously said he would take the pain of that controversial last-minute defeat "to the grave".

"When we take the emotion out of it, it is a game we could have won," he said.

"If we can use that as a positive again, that can help us because we were in the game for 80 minutes.

"But we understand that defensively we need to be stronger this time around. We gave away five tries so Australia will probably be thinking they can cause us problems.

"So we need to be real tight in our defence, real tight in our driving maul and our forward play so we are not giving away cheap points.

"If we get our stuff right, we feel as though we've got a strong game plan. We just need to stay in the moment and stick to our game plan. If we do that, we think we can be in the game."

Scotland v Australia - last six meetings
Oct 2015 (WC): Australia 35-34 ScotlandNov 2009: Scotland 9-8 Australia
Nov 2013: Scotland 15-21 AustraliaNov 2006: Scotland 15-44 Australia
Jun 2012: Australia 6-9 ScotlandNov 2004: Scotland 17-31 Australia

While Laidlaw believes the way Scotland competed in that quarter-final "gives the team real confidence", he acknowledged the challenge of matching the Wallabies' Test-match intensity by Saturday.

Australia played six Rugby Championship games- winning three, losing three - between August and early October, and looked far more match-sharp than Wales in opening their November series against all four home nations with a crushing 32-8 victory in Cardiff last Saturday.

But Laidlaw thinks extra preparation time - Scotland have been in camp since early last week - and a change of focus to more rugby-specific training, rather than fitness, will help the hosts.

"We are in a better place now than we have been before going into first games in championships," added the Gloucester scrum-half, citing their "poor performance" in the first game of this year's Six Nations against England as evidence.

"We have had a pretty good hit-out to mirror a game. We are excited and we will be ready to go.

"It's an important game for us at home in front of our people, and when our studs hit the ground at the weekend we are going out there to meet fire with fire."

Wallabies 'have forgotten about what happened'

Israel Folau takes on the Wales defence
Israel Folau looked back to his best form in Australia's win over Wales

Australia full-back Israel Folau, who is set to win his 50th cap at Murrayfield on Saturday, insists the Wallabies have forgotten about the controversy that overshadowed their last meeting with Scotland.

"Obviously it was a decision made by the referee, it had nothing to do with the players," said the 27-year-old, who missed the World Cup quarter-final through injury before returning for the semi and final.

"I can understand from a Scottish supporters' point of view that it was very disappointing, but for us as players, we have looked past that.

"This week is a new game for us. We are going into it starting from zero. The guys have forgotten about what happened last time.

"It was no surprise to us how Scotland played and it will be no different this week. We are expecting a very tough, challenging game."

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