Australia were always going to be a tough ask for Vern Cotter’s Scotland – and that was before two of his best players were suspended.
Thankfully, both Jonny Gray and Ross Ford’s bans for dangerous tackles against Samoa have been overturned, although it would still take a remarkable effort to overturn the side that has already dispatched England and Wales.
Former Scottish captain Rory Lawson to argue that this is arguably the best Australian side ever after they came through the ‘Pool of Death’ unscathed.
The back row combination of David Pocock and Michael Hooper have strangled better sides than Scotland already in this tournament. Pocock is injured, giving Scotland the merest glimmer of hope.
While Australia have found a variety of ways to win, Scotland have in the past quickly run out of ideas if they fail to make their attacks stick.
The final quarter-final bout to be played looks on paper to be the most one-sided, even if, remarkably, Scotland have won two out of the last three matches between these two sides.
Veterans missing, verging on a quarter-final exit: Vern has it all to do.