Taylor undaunted by All Blacks challenge

PA Sport
Matt Taylor sees the All Blacks clash as a 'great opportunity' for Scotland

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Matt Taylor sees the All Blacks clash as a 'great opportunity' for Scotland

Matt Taylor faces an unenviable brief on his maiden outing as Scotland defence coach: trying to stop the world champions with a point to prove.

New Zealand play at Murrayfield in Sunday's EMC Test eager to erase the memory of their 18-18 draw with Australia in their last Test outing.

Taylor, who replaced Graham Steadman as defence coach in a summer shake-up, said: "You've got to look at it as a positive. They're the best team in the world and everyone's got a huge amount of respect for them. As coaches and players you want to be tested against the best. It's a really great opportunity."

The All Blacks were seeking a 17th successive win in Brisbane, but instead had to settle for a draw in a match which saw them fail to score a try for the first time in 105 fixtures, since August 2004.

Scotland lost 49-3 in November 2010 to the New Zealand team which went on to win the World Cup and two years on defence will be key as Andy Robinson's side aim to defy their underdog status.

"We've tried to focus a lot on ourselves, things that we can control - our work-rate, our attitude," Taylor said. "They're the best team in the world in attack, so we've got to do the basics well in defence. We've got to tackle well and we've got to contest well. It's easier said than done."

Taylor's influence was key as Queensland Reds won the 2011 Super 15 competition with a final victory over a Crusaders team featuring New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter and openside Richie McCaw.

While Scotland's defence must be strong, their attack must be too if they are to claim a first win over the All Blacks at the 29th attempt. Four of New Zealand's seven tries in 2010 came from Scotland surrendering possession, providing an illustration of the pain the tourists can inflict.

"The All Blacks are the best in the world at scoring from turnovers and scoring from kick-return," Taylor added. "They use their defence to attack you, then turn you over and score tries.

"Defensively you've got to be very good, but you've got to be very good on your own ball. If you're not, you'll come unstuck and they will punish you. You can't kick loosely to them and you've got to tackle and do the basics of defence well."

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