Wallabies bracing for Scotland slowdown

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies are expecting Scotland to slow things down at Murrayfield, when the two sides face off in Australia's second Spring Tour clash.

Australia dominated possession and territory statistics against Wales last weekend, with three first half tries reward for their attacking dominance, but it will be a sterner one against Scotland.

The Wallabies have been caught out by Scotland’s ability to halt play in the past, particularly in wet conditions, having lost two of their past four matches against the Scots, all of which have been decided by less than seven points.

Australia has the recent wood on the side, having claimed their two most recent matchups, including last year’s 35-34 World Cup quarter-final thriller and halfback Nick Phipps said they’d be bracing for the Scottish threat.

“It’s no lie that we like to play some expansive footy, we know they’re going to be coming at us in all areas of the game,” - Nick Phipps

Scotland's Greig Laidlaw after last year's loss to the Wallabies. Photo: Getty images“They’ve got quite a Kiwi influence on the style of play they have, they’re very defensive, very pressure-oriented around the breakdown especially so it’s going to make life pretty tough for the 9 and 10 around that area.

“Scotland are a super team, they’ve always troubled us; the World Cup last year, they beat us in Newcastle a couple of years ago, they’re very passionate.

“And especially at their home ground they’ll be super, so we’ve got a big week of work ahead of us and we just want to make sure we’re as well prepared as possible to deal with whatever is thrown at us.

“It will be a great week and we’ll really enjoy the battle and the grind of the tour going into the second game of five, and hopefully we’ll be able to come out on the right side of the ledger."

Phipps’ position in the team for the clash is unclear, with Will Genia released from French club Stade Francais for the next three Tests, under the international eligibility window.

Will Genia started for the Wallabies on Saturday night. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyIt’s a situation he’s found himself often in recent times, with Genia playing for the Wallabies through the Rugby Championship before returning to France and he said his focus was all on what was the best thing for the team.

“Willy is a really fantastic halfback and he played really well in The Rugby Championship this year, and if I can just do my best now, it’s not really up to me anymore, I’ll just keep working hard and make sure the team goes well, that’s my priority,” he said.

“We’re quite lucky we’re getting an opportunity at a Grand Slam, which is so huge and it’s not lost on the players.

“I don’t care if I’m out of the team, as long as the team wins.

“Willy coming back, he’s a great player. If he comes back and plays some good footy I’ll be happy, and I think all the boys will be as well.

If Phipps were included in this weekend’s 23, it would mark his 50th Wallabies Test.

All of the Wallabies’ Spring Tour Tests will be broadcast LIVE on beIn Sports and streamed LIVE on Foxtel Go (for Foxtel subscribers).