JIM HAMILTON fears the All Blacks could score 80 points this weekend if Scotland do not make vast improvements from their opening Autumn Test match against Samoa.
The Scots earned Gregor Townsend a 44-38 victory on his home debut as head coach but leaked five tries against the Polynesians.
Samoa were themselves hammered 78-0 by New Zealand in the summer and Hamilton believes that is a stark warning for Townsend’s injury-hit side as they prepare to host the world champions.
The 63-times capped former lock forward said: “You look at it [last Saturday] and it was okay. You don’t have to be an expert to see how bad the defence was.
“That needs a big improvement against the best team in the world.
“I think we will see a better [Scotland] team. Gregor Townsend said after the game ‘you will see a different team’.
“If not, it’s going to be 80 points, it will be an 80-point scoreline.
“We saw what New Zealand did to Samoa in the summer, they put 70-odd points on them and we saw how easily Samoa scored at the weekend.”
In attack, Scotland ran in six tries against Samoa and have fostered a fast, running style in recent years.
But Hamilton reckons the likes of the talismanic Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg will have to play more tactically against the star-studded visitors, who Scotland have never ever beaten.
He added to BBC Scotland: “You can’t go all-out attack against New Zealand. If Scotland are going to go through 10 or 12 phases against the best defence in the world and they turn the ball over, then you’re up against the best counter-attacking team in the world.
“Let New Zealand have the ball but make sure it’s on your terms, in their half.
“Scotland’s kicking game needs to be the best it’s ever been.
“I don’t think it will be a fast, frantic game. Scotland will mix it up for sure.”