Blair - Scots staying intense

Captain wants commitment against Canucks

Last Updated: 19/11/08 6:38pm

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Blair: Ruthless edge

Blair: Ruthless edge

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Scotland captain Mike Blair has said they will go into Saturday's Test match against Canada with the same intensity they possessed against New Zealand and South Africa.

The match, to be played at Aberdeen's Pittodrie Stadium, will be their last of the autumn international series after back-to-back defeats against the world's top two Test sides.

Despite the losses, Scotland have stood up well to the tough examination offered by the All Blacks and Springboks and start clear favourites against Canada, ranked 15th in the world.

And, as they look to end 2008 with a victory, Blair said he and his team-mates will be just as committed this coming weekend.

"This is the test. It's a measure to see how far we've come, how we've matured as a team and a squad," he said.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't be as intense in this game as we have been in the first two games. I don't think it's going to be an issue.

"For us, it's about setting the standards for the game - setting our own standards and living up to them."

He added: "It's just another Test match.

"It's a game where we're going out with the same thought processes we would in other Test matches, and I don't think that's entered the guys' thoughts."

'Funny' debut

The 27-year-old Edinburgh captain made a try-scoring debut when the sides last met six years ago.

However, although the match was a personal triumph for Blair, Scotland suffered a 26-23 defeat just outside Vancouver.

"It was a funny sort of debut, because it was in Canada in front of a couple of thousand people," continued Blair, who will make his 53rd Scotland appearance this weekend.

"When you're growing up and you're thinking of getting your first cap, you have images of running out at Murrayfield in front of a packed crowd - scoring a try and winning the match.

"I was obviously amazingly proud to get my first cap. But we lost the game, and there were mixed emotions after that one."

The scrum-half also believes Canada are a more dangerous proposition six years on.

They were whitewashed 55-0 in Ireland the weekend before last but gave a better display in losing 34-13 against Wales on Friday night.

"They've shown against Wales and in parts against Ireland what they're capable of doing," Blair added.

"In the games against New Zealand and South Africa, we talked a lot about dominating the breakdown and collisions - and I think it is an opportunity to show that we can dominate an opposition and see what happens on the back of that, as opposed to always talking about what the opposition can do.

"We've got to have a kind of ruthless edge and show what we can do."

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