Scotland edge out the Wallabies again
Tuesday June 5, 2012
Scotland has stunned the Wallabies and retained the Hopetoun Cup trophy with a gritty and gutsy 9-6 victory at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle this evening.
Three penalty goals to two proved the difference between the two sides with the match winner coming from Greg Laidlaw’s boot three minutes after the final siren had sounded.
A scrum collapse infringement by Ben Alexander allowed Laidlaw to set the mark 35 metres out for which he calmly slotted over for the Scots first win on Australian soil against the home side since 1982.
Adding to that fact, tonight’s victory by the Scots was also their second consecutive win over Australia having won the last time they met 9-8 at Murrayfield in November 2009.
Despite the greasy conditions, confronting ice-cold winds along with rain, both sides showed tough defence in denying their opponent from successfully crossing the try-line.
Laidlaw put the visitors first on the board in the 23rd minute with his second attempt at penalty goal, having surprisingly missed a chance for three points six minutes earlier from a ruck infringement.
The Scots then jumped six points clear with Joseph Tomane handing Laidlaw another penalty goal in the 28th minute.
Though the Wallabies dominated the opening stanza they couldn’t put any points on the board until the 35th minute when Test debutant Mike Harris slotted his first of two penalty goals.
Though trailing 3-6 at the main break, the Wallabies were able to level the scores in the 43rd minute when Harris booted his second penalty goal.
Similar to the first half, both teams fought hard to deny the other access to the try line. Rob Simmons went the closest to a five-pointer only to be held up and denied by the Video referee referral.
Australian coach Robbie Deans was diplomatic after the match when asked about the game, “We had enough possession to put the game out of reach and credit to Scotland, and we just couldn’t put them away.”
“We started the second half really well, we had momentum and in conditions like that when you don’t turn the score board over things get messier as the game goes on. We lacked co-ordination to get the job done.”
Naturally upbeat and pleased with the final result, Scotland coach Andy Robinson said, “The team will come of age with that performance.”
The Wallabies need to now regroup for what is likely to be a gruelling three-match Test Series against Wales which begins in Brisbane on Saturday. Scotland meanwhile have a couple days off before heading for Fiji on their Southern Hemisphere tour.
2012 Rugby Test Match – Hopetoun Cup:
Scotland - 9 (Greg Laidlaw 3/4 pen goals)
Australia - 6 (Mike Harris 2/4 pen goals, Berrick Barnes 0/1 drop goals)
Crowd: 20,088 @ Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Half Time: Scotland 6-3
Australia: 1 James Slipper, 2 Stephen Moore, 3 Dan Palmer, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 6 Dave Dennis, 7 David Pocock (captain), 8 Scott Higginbotham, 9 Will Genia, 10 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 12 Mike Harris, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 14 Joseph Tomane, 15 Luke Morahan. Reserves: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Nick Phipps, 21 Pat McCabe, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Scotland: 1 Ryan Grant, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Euan Murray, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Alastair Kellock, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 7 Ross Rennie, 8 John Barclay, 9 Mike Blair, 10 Greg Laidlaw, 11 Joe Ansbro, 12 Matthew Scott, 13 Nick de Luca, 14 Sean Lamont, 15 Stuart Hogg. Reserves: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jon Welsh, 18 Tom Ryder, 19 Richie Vernon, 20 Chris Cusiter, 21 Duncan Weir, 22 Tom Brown.
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