Townsend full of respect for Wallabies

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says his side must raise the levels they reached in their gut-wrenching loss to the All Blacks when they take on the Wallabies.

Townsend masterminded a shock win in Sydney in June in only his second match in charge and expectation levels in Scotland are high following last week’s close shave against the world champions.

Chasing a first-ever win over New Zealand, Scotland went down 22-17 with only a last-minute Beauden Barrett tackle on Stuart Hogg a metre from the line rubber-stamping the victory for his side.

Scotland were praised by the All Blacks for their attacking endeavour but Townsend said more will be needed to beat Michael Cheika’s side.

“Against the current No.3 team in the world, we know it is going to require a better performance than we gave last week to win,” Townsend said.

“They play a similar brand of rugby and have a similar mindset every time they go into a game, which is moving the target.”

Scotland have matched up well against Australia in recent years with the two sides sharing three wins apiece in the last six encounters.

Two of those Wallabies victories have been by a single point, including last year’s clash at Murrayfield thanks to Tevita Kuridrani’s 75th-minute try and Bernard Foley’s conversion.

“Scotland’s recent history against Australia has been one of close-fought matches and, after a couple of narrow defeats, we managed to record a win last June out in Sydney,” Townsend said.

“Our players have been training hard and will draw on all they’ve learned in the games against Samoa and New Zealand to rise to the challenge of this final autumn Test.”

Rain has fallen all week in the Scottish capital but Townsend is hopeful the greasy conditions can work in his side’s favour on Saturday.

“They are probably hoping for dry weather given how wet it was last week,” Townsend said.

“They kick the ball the least out of any international team.

“Their back line is put together with brilliant attacking players, they’ve got outstanding halfbacks and Kurtley Beale at fullback, so this is a quality outfit.

“They’ve one of the best forwards in the world in Michael Hooper and they’ve got an experienced front row, so they are a top team.”

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