Scotland vs Wallabies Spring Tour Test preview and prediction

Charlie Lawry Roar Guru

By Charlie Lawry, Charlie Lawry is a Roar Guru

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    The Wallabies head to Murrayfield on Sunday morning (1:30am AEDT) to round off their Spring Tour against Scotland.

    The match serves as Stephen Moore’s farewell from the international arena, while it’s also a chance to finish the year on a high after the disappointing result against England.

    Speaking of which, the 30-6 loss at Twickenham was a rude awakening for Michael Cheika’s men, who will be desperate to bounce back quickly.

    Scotland will provide a stern test, however, having kept pace with the All Blacks last week, ultimately going down 17-22.

    Cheika has opted to start Moore for his final outing in gold at the expense of the impressive Tatafu Polota-Nau. The only other starting change is Ben McCalman at 6 in place of the injured Ned Hanigan.

    The big news for Australia is the inclusion of Taniela Tupou on the bench. The 21-year-old is set for his debut after fulfilling the three-year residency requirement.

    Sidenote: can someone please take this opportunity to come up with a better nickname than the painfully overused ‘Tongan Thor’ moniker?

    Tetera Faulkner is also among the subs. Even more heartening for Aussies fans is the return of Lukhan Tui who has recovered from a hamstring injury. Blake Enever retains his starting spot.

    For Scotland, coach Gregor Townsend makes four changes to the team that faced New Zealand. Up front, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist, and Ryan Wilson join the pack, relegating Zander Fagerson, Ben Toolis, and Cornell du Preez respectively to the bench.

    Former Crusader Sean Maitland starts on the wing. Meanwhile, the home side are still without their talismanic skipper Greg Laidlaw due to a broken leg.

    1. Scott Sio 2. Stephen Moore 3. Sekope Kepu 4. Rob Simmons 5. Blake Enever 6. Ben McCalman 7. Michael Hooper 8. Sean McMahon 9. Will Genia 10. Bernard Foley 11. Reece Hodge 12. Samu Kerevi 13. Tevita Kuridrani 14. Marika Koroibete 15. Kurtley Beale.

    Subs: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau 17. Tetera Faulkner 18. Taniela Tupou 19. Lukhan Tui 20. Lopeti Timani 21. Nick Phipps 22. Karmichael Hunt 23. Henry Speight.

    1. Darryl Marfo 2. Stuart McInally 3. Simon Berghan 4. Grant Gilchrist 5. Jonny Gray 6. John Barclay (c) 7. Hamish Watson 8. Ryan Wilson 9. Ali Price 10. Finn Russell 11. Sean Maitland 12. Alex Dunbar 13. Huw Jones 14. Tommy Seymour 15. Stuart Hogg.

    Subs: 16. Fraser Brown 17. Jamie Bhatti 18. Zander Fagerson 19. Ben Toolis 20. Cornell Du Preez 21. Henry Pyrgos 22. Pete Horne 23. Byron McGuigan.

    It’s been an up and down year for the Scots. They’ve beaten Ireland, Wales, and Australia. But they lost to Fiji, got dominated by England, and only just snuck past Samoa a few weeks ago.

    While Scotland’s form might be hard to read, what’s clear is that they’ve been more than a handful for the Wallabies in recent times, including their 24-19 triumph in June.

    The selection of Moore is an interesting one. It’s a show of sentimentality that one wouldn’t normally expect from Cheika. Of course, he’d probably tell you it’s on merit, but Polota-Nau has been one of the tour’s stronger performers. If anything it might shore up the lineout, while sacrificing stability at scrum time.

    We know Scotland have enough weapons to hurt the Wallabies, so nothing should come as a surprise. As always, the set piece, discipline, and backline cohesion are the areas of concern for Australia. Take care of those, and the result should take care of itself. Should.

    Wallabies to win by 6.

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    The Crowd Says (36)

    • November 25th 2017 @ 10:35am
      mzilikazi said | November 25th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      Will be an interesting contest, which could go badly wrong for the WB’s if they don’t play well and with accuracy and intelligence. The latter, IMO, has been a problem for a long time.

      Good to see Scotland with a really good team again. Good luck to them….be great to see them roll England next year too !

      • November 25th 2017 @ 2:40pm
        Moriarty said | November 25th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

        +1 Can’t help but like the look of the Scotland team

      • November 26th 2017 @ 4:20am
        Gormon Kinchley said | November 26th 2017 @ 4:20am | ! Report

        Good call. I was at the match, the whole game felt like it was being played in advantage. Hopefully this will be some sort of sea change from Australia’s point of view, because that wasn’t great.

    • Roar Guru

      November 25th 2017 @ 10:52am
      PeterK said | November 25th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      Very intriguing game.

      Wallabies strong in the scrum which is not usually the case against Scotland. The Scots have a lot of injuries there.

      Lineout about equal.

      Scots will be significantly better at the breakdown with neither McMahon or Hooper a force there.

      Scots will be better at creative playmaking.
      Overall their backline is faster and probably with a wider array of skills.

      Wallaby backline more powerful.

      Wallaby players both forwards and backs would have better handling skills, passing and catching, Scots a lot better kicking.

      Scots will hold up wallaby runners turning them into mauls.

      I doubt Wallabies will have worked out how to stop the Scots slowing / killing rucks and thus preventing quick clean ball for the Wallabies.

      Wallabies will have the advantage in ball carrying through contact and dominant tackles in both forwards and backs.

      Scots will kick deep , play it in aust territory, run turn over ball back quickly and go wide, and as mentioned slow ruck ball down, also use rush defence.

      Wallabies will drive over the ad line, get the defence pushed back on their heels, and probably kick the ball behind for Koroiebete.

      Close game as usual.

      • November 25th 2017 @ 1:56pm
        PiratesRugby said | November 25th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

        It will be a close game between two evenly matched teams. Can’t pick a winner. Is it possible that we have three draws in one season???
        I think the WBs have the advantage with ball in hand both in the forwards and backs. The Scots will kick better than us. The problems will come at the breakdown but I feel better with McCalman starting.

    • November 25th 2017 @ 11:23am
      Jock Cornet said | November 25th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

      Too much work for McMahon and Hooper to do as carrying about 4 passengers in the forwards. Cheika doesn’t give a toss hence playing Moore. We will get flogged. KB to be totally no where near the tries in defence. Hates a tackle.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 25th 2017 @ 11:48am
      sir timbo said | November 25th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      Not confident for the Wallabies in this one and I see Stuart Hogg as the best playmaker on the field, particularly if he has a repeat of his performance of last week. Takes his opportunities. If the Wallabies remain patient and focused for 80, then we’re in for a win.
      Go the Wallabies.

      • Roar Guru

        November 25th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        PeterK said | November 25th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        IMO Russell is an excellent playmaker one of only about 2 genuine playmakers (rather than running 10’s) along with Sexton currently running intl backlines.

        • November 25th 2017 @ 12:27pm
          mzilikazi said | November 25th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

          Would agree there, PeterK….will need to try to close Russell down…not easy. Will also have to watch Hogg, and restrict his space…..also not easy.

          • November 25th 2017 @ 6:37pm
            Fionn said | November 25th 2017 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

            Russell and Hogg are both electric. Would both walk into the Wallabies with no problem. Containing them will go a long way towards winning the match.

            • Roar Pro

              November 25th 2017 @ 11:47pm
              Gishan De Soyza said | November 25th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

              It’s a shame Hogg wasn’t nominated for the WPY award.

            • Roar Guru

              November 26th 2017 @ 12:15am
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:15am | ! Report

              You are so right Fionn.
              And what a beautiful backline it would be. With Russell and Hogg the Wallabies would, without a doubt, have the strongest attack in rugby.

              • Roar Guru

                November 26th 2017 @ 12:48am
                Harry Jones said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:48am | ! Report

                Huw Jones isn’t bad, either.

    • November 25th 2017 @ 12:44pm
      aussikiwi said | November 25th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      Better moniker for TT. How about Tiny?

      • November 25th 2017 @ 1:31pm
        Dave_S said | November 25th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

        Truck. The crown can go “Vrooom vrooom” when he gets the ball … nah

      • Roar Guru

        November 25th 2017 @ 9:25pm
        Mango Jack said | November 25th 2017 @ 9:25pm | ! Report


      • November 25th 2017 @ 11:39pm
        Peter said | November 25th 2017 @ 11:39pm | ! Report

        Here’s a thought. How about “Tupou”? Fair chance he’d respond to it as well.

    • November 25th 2017 @ 2:08pm
      The Slow Eater said | November 25th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

      Should be a good close game. The Scottish kicking game will run our boys around but I feel the Wallabies will get across the line for Squeaks last game.

      WB by 5.

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