Autumn internationals: Scots fear another drubbing against Wallabies


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The Independent Online

Scotland's interim head coach, Scott Johnson, admits his side will have another day to forget against Australia on Saturday if they make the same kind of mistakes which cost them dear last weekend.

The Dark Blues host the Wallabies in this season's final autumn international at Murrayfield still hurting from Sunday's 28-0 drubbing by South Africa.

Johnson – who has made four changes to his pack for Saturday including a recall for captain Kelly Brown– insisted the players could still take pride from certain aspects of that display but was clear further errors would be punished in a similarly harsh manner.

"The boys are disappointed after last weekend but it would be an overreaction to say they are shattered," said Johnson. "It's not about that. I think they showed some good things.

"We acknowledge the fact that we let ourselves down in certain aspects and gave South Africa two obvious chances which they took. When you are up against quality sides they will take them.

"But they were brave and I thought they showed good composure after a poor start. However, against the top teams you can rarely make mistakes and not be punished."

James Hook will make a first fly-half appearance for Wales since the 2011 World Cup third-place play-off defeat against Australia in Auckland in tomorrow's meeting with Tonga. Hook is currently enjoying his third season at French side Perpignan.

"I didn't know what to expect this week with selection, injuries and things," said Hook, who will win his 73rd cap. "Whatever position I had been named in I would have been happy. I like playing 10, but just to get back starting in the Welsh jersey is the main thing because it has been a while.

"I have had a bit of experience the last couple of weeks coming off the bench [against South Africa and Argentina], but it's going to be nice to start against Tonga."

Ireland duo Brian O'Driscoll and Jonathan Sexton missed training, but both are expected to be passed fit for Sunday's match against New Zealand. The All Blacks are aiming to end the year unbeaten after their narrow victory over England last week.