CUT LOOSE AND BE FANCY FREE; the Hand of Godman: The Edinburgh Player Has Been Picked for His Ability to Fling out a Pass 2.leading from the Front: Scotland Captain Mike Blair Limbers Up for the All Blacks during a Session Yesterday

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THE New Zealand coaching staff are pretty sure they have got Scotland sussed; pride, passion and possibly even the benefits of porridge for breakfast seem to have been uppermost in the All Blacks' stereotype-heavy analysis of today's opponents.

But fast-handling, side-stepping, tackler-tormenting creativity from a back division given licence to run amok? The only people more surprised than Graham Henry and Co might be a Murrayfield crowd wondering if bold words will ever be backed up by deeds of derring-do.

The pre-match noises emanating from within the Scotland camp are certainly encouraging, with back after back lining up to talk about 'having a crack' at the best team in the world.

If they can turn those intentions into actions, then, with the forwards providing all of the aggression and the set-piece excellence demanded of a Scottish pack, Frank Hadden's men have at least a chance of ending their century-plus wait for victory over the All Blacks.

Thom Evans, the Glasgow winger who made his debut in Argentina this summer, is adamant that the home side will play with an element of unpredictable menace.

The former 100 and 200metres schoolboy international sprinter revealed: 'Frank has given us a real licence to play what we see and have a crack and we're definitely going to do that.

'Last week's training camp we had in La Manga, in Spain, showed me the attacking threat we have.

'With Ben Cairns and Sean Lamont back in the starting line-up now, there is a real sense of wanting to go out there and show the best team in the world what we can do.

'The whole management team have given us a lot of confidence to go out there and play, not just feel that we have to stick to called moves.

'If the defence changes, then react to it. We have worked a lot on that in training and it is paying dividends.

I can't wait for this game to start.

'Everything seemed to fly by me in Argentina but I have a lot more experience now. I trained really hard in the off-season and worked particularly on those weaknesses I felt I had in my game.

'I feel much more of an all-round player this season, rather than just the paceman I used to be called.

Any improvement has come from hard work, really, and I definitely feel more confident because of that.

'It was my dream when I was younger to play against a team like the All Blacks, who have superstars right across the field.

'But I'm just focused on playing my own game and playing the way I can and try not to get caught up in the moment, which is important.' The selection of Phil Godman at stand-off is generally viewed as a declaration of intent on the part of Hadden; Scotland must run the ball, pass it wide and look to take on the All Blacks, or else there is little point in having the Edinburgh No 10 in the team. …