Autumn Nations Series: Tim Visser’s hopes for the forthcoming matches
‘I expect Scotland to be competitive against the best in the world’
The 60-14 win over Tonga was a ruthless, but expected, start to Scotland’s Autumn International campaign.
Ahead of much greater challenges, beginning with Australia’s visit to Murrayfield on Sunday, former Scotland international – and Wooden Spoon ambassador – Tim Visser talks about his hopes for the forthcoming matches.
Four-try Kyle takes his opportunity
“The match against Tonga was something of a one-off. It was a good first game to have as it allowed some of the young lads, who have been playing well for their clubs, to be given an opportunity.
The likes of Rufus McLean and the four-try Kyle Steyn certainly took that opportunity and that was important with the Six Nations and then the World Cup coming up.
Was Scotland great or Tonga poor? I would suggest it was somewhere in between. Ahead of the match, Scotland had a lot more control over the players they could pick whereas I understand Tonga struggled to get the players they may have wanted.
But Scotland played the game really well and there was a good mix between attacking and playing the territory.
Tonga could have been be tricky and a bit of a trap as Scotland were expected to win and anything else would have been disastrous. So it was a good box-ticking exercise and we should credit Scotland for getting the job done ahead of tougher tests coming up.”
Australia on the horizon
“Had we played someone like South Africa first, maybe these young lads wouldn’t have played.
And however well they did against Tonga, I wouldn’t start them this weekend against Australia. They weren’t really tested against Tonga and playing an Australia or South Africa (on Saturday 13th November) is completely different.
Against Tonga, we weren’t able to see what the young boys are like under pressure and that is a big part of international rugby.
Scotland also have a lot of stars, like Finn Russell, Duhan van de Merwe and Stuart Hogg, returning and I expect them all to start.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Kyle Steyn or Rufus McLean on the bench in case we need a change of tempo towards the end of the game.”
Hopes for the Autumn Internationals
“As we work towards the Six Nations and the World Cup, these internationals are more about performance than actual results.
Scotland will be up against some of the best teams in the world and I would like them to be competitive and maybe within touching distance of winning the games.
We have been putting consistent performances together for a while now and I think we will be competitive.
Then when Japan come to town (on Saturday 20th November), I think it will be a really important one for the players after losing to them in the last World Cup.”
The return of spectators
“I would also say that it is amazing to see spectators back in rugby stadiums.
Rugby is a spectator sport and fans create such a buzz, especially when it comes to international test matches. I am sure they are in for some great games.”