RUGBY UNION: Scotland's rugby bravehearts scoff at still fearing the Wallabies, who should be on high alert for an ambush from new coach Gregor Townsend.
Townsend has instilled a more attacking, up-tempo rhythm to the Scottish game to go with the non-stop abrasive mentality that came so close to upsetting the All Blacks at Murrayfield last weekend.
The Scots have toppled the Wallabies in the wet (2009), in the apocalyptic weather of Newcastle (2012) and under clear skies (2017) in their last six duels to give them confidence that victory on the same home patch on Sunday morning (EDT) would not even be an upset.
Scottish history, not just in rugby, is highlighted by glorious defeats so the 24-19 boilover in Sydney in June has convinced Townsend's men they can topple anyone.
"It's given us massive belief. The fear factor is now gone and we go into every game thinking we can win it," said centre Huw Jones, who scored a terrific try against the All Blacks and two against the Wallabies a year ago.
The key figure is Townsend (pictured), just five Tests into his coaching reign but bringing all of the experience of 82 Tests for Scotland and a rounded, relaxed manner part-forged in Australia.
Townsend actually had two wins in Australia this season; the June Test result and his old club side Warringah winning Sydney's Shute Shield.
Townsend is looking to continue that success at home but he is said he is conscious of the challenge ahead, describing the Wallabies as "arguably the best attacking team in the world."
"It's their last game of the year and I'm sure they'll want to finish on a high as the last occasion for (retiring) Stephen Moore but motivation comes in different forms for all different players," he said.
While the Wallabies were hammered 30-6 by England at the weekend, Townsend said they had clearly improved since June, not just because they'd played 11 more Tests together but their extra fitness.
"They are a team on the up. The longer they have been together has helped and their fitness has improved a lot," he said.
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