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Greig Laidlaw: Absent players not to blame for Scotland's loss to Samoa
Greig Laidlaw said the absence of key players with the Lions was no excuse for Scotland's 27-17 loss to Samoa in Durban.
The Scots were outscored by three tries to one, as James So'oialo and an Alesana Tuilagi brace consigned them to a first ever defeat against Samoa.
Sean Lamont grabbed Scotland's sole try while Laidlaw kicked 12 points. The latter refused to blame the loss on the absence of players such as Richie Gray, Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland, who are all on tour in Australia.
"We're not going to use that (the Lions tour) as an excuse," said Laidlaw. "We didn't have a good Six Nations and we're just disappointed to take another backward step coming here today.
"We need to go and have a good hard look at ourselves and work out our defensive systems. We need to build our play from the defence."
He added: "Conceding the tries in the first half - I think we were always going to be struggling."
Samoa captain Paul Williams revelled in the nation's maiden victory over Scotland, and hailed his forwards' contribution.
He said: "We've had some really close tussles with Scotland and we're always been on the wrong side of the ledger so it's great to be able to right that today.
"(The two early tries) gave us some confidence but I was really proud of the forwards and the momentum they were able to create."
On the subject of Laidlaw's four penalties, he added: "I'm hoping (discipline) isn't an issue. Hopefully we can learn and cue each other on those key points.
"It's a great opportunity for us and it's nice to be in a new venue in South
Africa as well."Six Nations 2014. Click here to bet.