Irish win versus NZ 'can inspire Scotland'


Ireland ended their own 111-year wait for a win over the All Blacks in Chicago last November
Autumn Test: Scotland v New Zealand
Date: Saturday, 18 November (17:15 GMT); Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Coverage: Live on BBC Two from 1700, BBC Sport website & app, Radio Scotland & Radio 5 live sports extra

Defence coach Matt Taylor says Scotland can take inspiration from Ireland as they look to claim an historic first victory over New Zealand on Saturday.

The Scots have never beaten the All Blacks in 30 Tests going back to 1905.

Ireland recorded their first ever win over New Zealand at the 29th attempt with a famous 40-29 victory in Chicago in November 2016.

“You have to look at Ireland, they were in the same boat not too long ago,” said Taylor.

“They had close results and then they managed to win in the USA. From our point of view we had a reasonably close result against them last time [a 24-16 loss at Murrayfield in 2014].

“I think it’s a motivation because like anything you haven’t been able to achieve, you are striving to achieve it.

“We’re going to have to play well. We’re going to have to be at our best to beat them but that’s what we’re aiming to do.”

Scotland v New Zealand – last six meetings
Nov 2014: Scotland 16-24 NZ Nov 2008: Scotland 6-32 NZ
Nov 2012: Scotland 22-51 NZ Nov 2007: Scotland 0-40 NZ (WC)
Nov 2010: Scotland 3-49 NZ Nov 2005: Scotland 10-29 NZ

Scotland will have to do without tight-prop WP Nel, lock Tim Swinson and flanker Rob Harley, who have all been ruled out of the remaining autumn Tests against New Zealand and Australia.

Gregor Townsend’s side opened their autumn campaign with an unconvincing 44-38 win over Samoa at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Taylor has earned many plaudits for his work as defence coach with both Glasgow Warriors and Scotland in recent years, and he admits his professional pride took a dent at seeing the Scots leak five tries, many of them soft, to the Samoans.

“I think we were all pretty disappointed with how we defended, particularly where, over the last six months, there’s been games where we’ve defended really well like the Australia game, the Ireland game,” the Australian explained.

“So to let ourselves down at home was really disappointing. A few things we can probably put down to it being the first time together for a long time, different guys coming in from different systems.

“I’m in a different situation this year in that I’m not in control of Glasgow so I don’t have as much time with the players, so it’s getting them on the same page as quickly as possible.

“We’d score, they’d score and for a defensive coach that’s not very good for the heart.

“The good thing about it is that we’ll be a hell of a lot better this weekend, but we’ll need to be because we’re under no illusions that unless we defend really well we’ll come second.”

A positive for Scotland against Samoa was Darryl Marfo, with the prop performing well on his Test debut.

Marfo has taken his chance after injuries to Edinburgh loose-heads Al Dickinson, Rory Sutherland and Allan Dell

It completed a rapid rise for the former London Welsh front row, who started the season as fourth-choice loose-head at Edinburgh before injuries opened the door at club and international level.

Now Marfo, 27, looks set to face world champions New Zealand, and he admits that scenario would have been hard to imagine a few short months ago.

“It would have been a stretch to believe six months ago,” Marfo said. “I’m a person who doesn’t look much into things that have happened in the past and try not to look far forward into the future.

“I have a day-by-day attitude, give the best I can. There are things you can control and things you can’t. What happens happens.

“First and foremost you want to show your team-mates and the coaches, the people whose trust and respect you want to earn. It was nice for me to go out and play as I did. Obviously, there are things to improve too.”

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