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Scotland’s Chinan coach Matt Taylor wants team to get in face of Wallabies

Written By: admin - Sep• 14•19

Edinburgh: There is an n coach within the Scotland rugby setup who wants his team to get in the face of the Wallabies in order to disrupt the attacking rhythm they boasted against Wales last week.
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Matt Taylor, the former Queensland Reds defence coach, is now Scotland’s assistant and has been giving his players the inside lowdown ahead of a World Cup quarter-final rematch on Saturday at Murrayfield.

Taylor was there that day at Twickenham when Bernard Foley broke Scottish hearts with a penalty in the final minute to help the Wallabies clinch a miraculous 35-34 win.

Because of his n connection, despite being in the other coaching box, Taylor felt sorry for one Wallaby in particular on that day.

“James Slipper was the one who gave that intercept try,” said Taylor, referencing the moment Scotland drew level in the 74th minute before edging ahead with a conversion.

“At the time I was so happy for us as a group because I was thinking with four minutes to go that we had a good chance of winning. From a personal level, I probably felt for him a little bit because I know him pretty well and to give that pass [would have been hard].

“It’s always a funny one against . A lot of my family, who are Scottish, will all be going for Scotland. There’s a number of them at home who are quite proud ns as well. So it’s always a funny Test match but I’m really looking forward to the occasion.”

Taylor has done his homework on how to shut down the likes of in-form n backs Bernard Foley, Israel Folau and Dane Haylett-Petty, particularly given Scotland had the benefit of not playing on the weekend.

He says being aggressive is the way to go against Michael Cheika’s team while also trying to keep their shape in defence or run the risk of being exposed early in the contest.

“We’ll be looking to get up in their faces, do our best to disrupt – and that starts at set-piece,” Taylor said. “Defence starts at set-piece and that filters through. The teams which have shown how to disrupt them [] is to really get up and try and stop that. We as a group need to focus on that.

“The advantage that we’ve had is that for the last week we’ve been totally focused on … we’ve had an extra week’s preparation.”

Taylor plans to catch up with a number of Reds players he mentored when he was there but assured there would be “no talking about tactics or giving away too many secrets”.

Asked whether the World Cup quarter-final last year had been spoken about in preparation for Saturday, Taylor said: “It’s a motivating factor in the sense that if we’d done other things well we could’ve won that game.

“Whenever you play a Test match you’re always highly motivated. We’re at home, we’re in front of a [possible] record crowd, so that’s going to be a great occasion. Whenever you’re playing the top three or four sides in the world you’re always highly motivated to do well.

“On that day, we weren’t good enough and that’s what the history books show.”

Taylor has not ruled out a return to coaching in after the 2019 World Cup when his contract expires but for the time being, Scotland is home.

“I love it here,” Taylor said. “I’ve just signed on for another two years with Scotland and I’m hoping if everything goes well that I get through at least to the World Cup. As a professional coach you’re just always looking to do your best.

“My family’s very settled here, my kids love it here and I love it here but I suppose rugby coaching in any regard, you’re just on to your next contract aren’t you? We’ll see what happens.”

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