Autumn internationals: Jeremy Guscott on Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

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Scotland demolish Australia in record win - highlights

For three of the four home nations, Saturday's fixtures brought an end to their autumn Tests.

Scotland capped an impressive month with a record-breaking 53-24 thumping of Australia.

England saw off Samoa 48-14 to make it three wins from three in November, while Ireland's 28-19 victory over Argentina also secured a 100% record.

But Wales, who play South Africa next week, slumped to a 30th consecutive defeat by the All Blacks as the world champions ran out 33-18 winners.

Former England and Lions centre Jeremy Guscott analyses all the action.

New era for Scottish rugby

Gregor Townsend and John Barclay
Head coach Gregor Townsend (left) collects the Hopetoun Cup with captain John Barclay

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has found the on switch for this group of players. They are responding to what he is coaching and it was a very convincing victory over the Wallabies.

To come off the back of their lively performance against the All Blacks and respond in the way they did wasn't a surprise, but it wasn't exactly expected either. It's what a good team should do.

Those who have watched Scotland for a long time - if they were honest - wouldn't have been expecting that kind of response. There was every chance they might win, but it might have been a bit scrappy and they might have put too much into the New Zealand game.

But one thing that's abundantly clear is the northern hemisphere has certainly got closer to the fittest team in the world, which is New Zealand.

That helps with confidence and off the back of that you can play the way you want to. Scotland showed that by scoring eight tries in what was a very competent and mature performance.

Townsend has this ability to communicate with the players, and they get him. When I was first coached by Ian McGeechan, I saw very quickly he had the skill to be able to talk to forwards and backs, which is not always the easiest thing to achieve - they talk different languages when it comes to rugby. Gregor also has that ability.

With these two performances, this appears to be a new era for Scottish rugby. This side means business and they have a big chance for the Six Nations. They look as if they will be challenging very closely to win the Championship, and why shouldn't they be?

Wales getting better - but must work on execution

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Wales close in on New Zealand with Williams try

Wales, Wales, Wales...

They pushed hard, they tried and tried, but they couldn't produce the telling pass, with the telling support - they couldn't do the right thing at the right time.

The amount of possession and territory they had in that first half should have been rewarded with more points on the board.

But Wales didn't have the player, or players, to make the right play and confuse the defence enough to allow them to score.

Steff Evans has it, Dan Biggar is one of the best at kicking and chasing in the world, Hallam Amos is talented and Scott Williams had one of his better games for Wales - but they aren't at the same level as the likes of Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane and Waisake Naholo.

When those guys have a poor game, it's at the level of a lot of people's best.

Even though Barrett seemed uninterested and his mind seemed to be on the plane to a holiday, every now and then it still clicked in and away they went. Some of the plays we see from New Zealand are magic in comparison to the average skillsets of a lot of the northern hemisphere sides.

The positives for Wales are that head coach Warren Gatland chose two playmakers in Biggar and Owen Williams, and they are getting better.

The forwards are starting to run different lines knowing they could get the ball and when you do that you're more believable to the defence - they think you might get it so you attract their attention and create more possibilities.

But what has to be worked on is their execution. It wasn't precise enough to open up the defence on a regular basis and their finishing wasn't up to scratch. When you have those opportunities you have to take them, or you will lose games.

England's attack was second division

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England run in seven tries against Samoa - highlights

England were expected to beat Samoa, a side who aren't in the best place - they're on a run of losses and down to 16th in the world rankings - with what's going on behind the scenes with their union.

In England's first game of the autumn internationals, I touched on how accurate this team has got to be if it wants to be the best side in the world.

But there wasn't that clinical, surgical precision at the breakdown against Samoa. For England to purr and really get closer to New Zealand their attack has got to be so much better than it is.

They have to start thinking of strike moves in the first phase - we saw New Zealand do this against both Wales and Scotland with 14 men. Can England do that on a regular basis? The improvement for England has to come in attack, it's second division at the moment.

What must have been pleasing for Eddie Jones was the performance of Mike Brown. I've certainly questioned his counter-attacking and linking play but he had one of his better games for England. He was playing like he used to, and he cemented his position at full-back.

This is a side that has depth. Hooker Jamie George played as well as we would all expect him to. Sam Simmonds, Ellis Genge, Charlie Ewels, Alex Lozowski and Henry Slade by no means had poor games but, in the same breath, I'm not sure how much ground they made up on those above them in the selection order.

Genge had an opportunity to make himself even more competitive with fellow loose-heads Joe Marler and Mako Vunipola. It wasn't a poor performance but it wasn't standout either. If you're on the fringe and third in line, every time you play you have to be standout otherwise those two guys will remain above you.

Ireland are a team of grafters - not much whizz-bang

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland
Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale has scored four tries in four appearances for Ireland

Ireland are a well-conditioned side, they pass well and even though you know a wraparound from Johnny Sexton is going to happen, to try to defend it is still difficult.

Considering much of this Ireland side went on the Lions trip, they don't seem stale and they are a side that, two years out from the World Cup, are very comfortable playing the way they are. The challenge for Joe Schmidt is for his team not to be worked out.

Their biggest move in terms of tactics over the past 12 months is that they've worked incredibly hard on not conceding penalties. By keeping the unforced errors and penalties to a minimum, they are not giving the opposition any easy ball.

And this is a team of grafters, there is not a lot of flash or whizz-bang in this side. They have the experience of Sexton and Conor Murray, combined with CJ Stander and Rory Best in the forwards, and from time to time someone emerges.

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose was one of those before he got injured and they've found a gem in winger Jacob Stockdale. There's no reason why he can't establish himself in the side during the 2018 Six Nations and Ireland are in a good spot.

For me, the favourites for the Six Nations will be England and Ireland, with Scotland close behind.

Guscott's team of the autumn internationals

Jeremy Guscott was speaking to BBC Sport's Louise Gwilliam.

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