EDINBURGH - Scotland will face an Australia side "hurting" from their 30-6 trouncing at Twickenham, head coach Gregor Townsend has warned.
Michael Cheika’s men suffered their fifth consecutive loss to England on Saturday with four second-half tries doing the damage. Scotland and Australia have enjoyed a healthy rivalry in recent years.
A controversial late penalty from Bernard Foley sunk the Scots in the 2015 World Cup while Tevita Kuridrani’s try secured a late victory for the Wallabies at Murrayfield 12 months later. But Scotland got revenge in June with a stunning 24-19 win in Sydney. They will lock horns once again in Edinburgh on Saturday and Townsend is braced for a backlash.
"We know Australia better than New Zealand, we’ve played them twice in the last 12 months," he said. "I watched a lot of the Australia game and it was a lot closer than the scoreline suggested.
"They’ll be hurting for that defeat against England and also their defeat against us in the summer. We’ve got arguably an even bigger challenge next week at home, and we’ll have to be better."
Scotland came agonisingly close to ending their 112-year barren run against the All Blacks as they fell to a thrilling 22-17 defeat. The hosts dominated the first half but only had a solitary penalty from Finn Russell to show for their efforts.
The Scots’ lack of accuracy came back to haunt them as New Zealand scored second-half tries from Codie Taylor, Damian McKenzie and Beauden Barrett. Jonny Gray and Huw Jones tries set up a frantic finale but Barrett’s superb last-ditch tackle denied Stuart Hogg at the death.
"I got told we were in their 22 on 17 occasions during the game which shows the amount of pressure, territory and opportunities we had," added Townsend. "The more I think about it, the more gutted I am we lost."