Every last second counts for Wallabies

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

There are 80 minutes left of the Wallabies’ 2017 Test season and skipper Michael Hooper has implored his team to hang on for every last moment.

The Wallabies are desperate to finish their season on a high, after a disappointing 30-6 loss to England at Twickenham, and against an in-form Scotland side, they have a chance for a taste of revenge.

Australia's surprise loss to Scotland in Sydney 'stung' Hooper and his side, and the Wallabies captain said they couldn't let the thought of the season's end overtake Sunday morning's (AEDT) mission.

“It's a little bit of a full circle thing,” he said.

“The thing for us is to finish strong for the end of the year.

“There are excuses that can be made, breaks, the end's in sight. We don't want to use that. We want to be a team that plays on to the last second.

“We're pushing to improve.

“The guys had a good hit out today and we look at tomorrow and then on Saturday we'll see how the cards fall.”

With the past six matches between the Wallabies and Scotland decided by six points or less, and split 3-3, it’s fair to expect another tight finish, with grit likely to be a critical element for both sides, as it has been in recent years.

“There's quite a few similarities in the way both these teams fight until the end regardless of where they are in the game,” he said.

“They've got ticker. We've both shown that.

“That match in Sydney was a real slugfest  there were hits here and there and penalties.

“It was an enjoyable game to be a part of because it was a grind and on Saturday the crowd will be getting involved and I am excited to be involved this weekend.”

Australia will be watching its discipline against Scotland, with Hooper sent off twice in as many matches for repeated infringements, something they can’t afford again.

Fitness was the buzzword in June and Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne said that would not be a source of consternation this time around.

“This time last year we were in front when the siren went. In June, they were in front when the siren went,” he said.

“We've developed a real resilience in our squad this year, there was chat about the fitness of our squad earlier in the year, the boys have worked really hard, they're going to be there in the 88th minute if it has to be that and the Scottish boys are the same,” he said.

“So, when the final siren goes on Saturday, we'll be happy when we're in front.”

Australia takes on Scotland on Saturday November 25, kicking off at 2:30pm local, Sunday 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS Viceland.