Our improving Scots are ready to rock Boks ...

New Zealand demonstrated just why they are the best team in the world by a distance against Scotland.

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But, the great thing looking ahead, is that despite Sunday's defeat, there are an awful lot of positives we can build on going into Saturday's meeting with South Africa.

For a start, we scored three tries and were very competitive in the forwards and, in the second half, we showed some real character to keep competing. The other aspect was that all the areas we were good in are the boxes that will need to be ticked against the Boks.

While South Africa are the world's No.2 team, their coaching staff are under a bit of pressure to produce more attractive rugby. I think coming to Edinburgh this weekend they are doing so knowing more will be expected of them from back home.

On top of that, we beat the Boks two years ago when they came to Murrayfield and we have done that twice in the last 10 years.

So, when all of that is taken into account, then I think we have a real chance to get something.

Of course, Andy Robinson and his staff will be disappointed with some of the missed tackles and the defensive alignment that afforded the All Blacks far too much space.

But, make no mistake, the Kiwis knew they had been in a game, and the challenge for Scotland is to build on the positives and eradicate the negatives.

From a Glasgow perspective, there were a number of big Scotland performances from our lads. Ryan Grant was voted by his fellow players as our man of the match, while Henry Pyrgos, on his debut as a replacement, was very solid and his delivery, under severe pressure, was excellent.

It was also great to see Sean Lamont return in what was his first game since he fractured a cheekbone in a Glasgow shirt against Northampton. Al Kellock made a big impact from the bench, just as you would expect of him.

So, once again, our set-piece will need to be rock solid and our commitment total, but with Tim Visser in the type of try-scoring form he is in, then we can definitely hurt the Boks.

At club level, Glasgow, minus our Scotland contingent, enjoyed a very lively boxing training session at the Palace of Arts Gym on Tuesday that set the tone for a full-on week.

The great news for us ahead of Leinster is that we are now starting to get players back from injury.

DTH van der Merwe, Pat MacArthur and Moray Low are all back in training while Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Duncy Weir and Chris Cusiter are all running, as is Jon Welsh.

Fingers crossed that as we enter what is a massively important section of the season, our casualty list is clearing at exactly the right time.

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Michelle McManus

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