Why Scotland can end Wallabies' winning streak
YEAR-END SPOTLIGHT: Scotland defence coach Steve Tandy said he hopes to put his time with the Waratahs to good use as his team prepare to host Australia this weekend.
Tandy, sacked as head coach of the Ospreys in 2018 after six years in charge of the Welsh region, restored his reputation with a brief but successful spell as the defence chief of the Sydney-based Waratahs.
That was enough to persuade Scotland boss Gregor Townsend to bring the Welshman into his set-up in December 2019.
Tandy made an immediate impact, with Scotland conceding a mere five tries in the 2020 Six Nations and no side letting in fewer than the 10 they gave up in last year’s edition.
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“I had an awesome time at the Waratahs and I think the mindset of the Aussies and how they want to play rugby is really attack-minded,” Tandy told a press conference.
“But if you look at them now, they are really solid defensively as well. They have got a real good game both sides of the ball.
“They have loads of energy around them and it was a really good experience for me to be out there for a couple of years.”
Scotland scored 10 tries as they launched their year-end campaign with a 60-14 rout of an under-strength Tonga at Murrayfield last weekend.
But they now face a Wallaby team who have arrived in Edinburgh on a five-match winning streak, including two victories over world champions South Africa.
“They are in great form and have played a lot of tough rugby over the last few months,” Tandy said of Australia.
“But it’s an exciting opportunity for us. We did really well in the Six Nations defensively and we know we are going to have to be on point.
“We are at home, we have a sell-out crowd and we want to express ourselves and take hold of the game. We know the Aussies will have the ball for long periods as well but we want to play our own style and we want the ball.”
Meanwhile, Rory Sutherland looks set to miss the entire end-of-year campaign after dropping out of the Scotland squad for the Australia game.
The British and Irish Lions prop failed a fitness test ahead of Worcester Warriors’ win over Sale Sharks in the English Premiership last weekend and is unlikely to return for Scotland’s remaining November internationals against South Africa and Japan after suffering a muscle injury.