Friday, 28 July, 2017

Gregor Townsend's Scotland hold on for thrilling victory over Australia

Ben Pena | 18 June, 2017, 13:42

It was Scotland's first win against the Wallabies since 2012 and ends a run of three straight defeats by Australia, including the 2015 World Cup quarter-final loss that was decided by a last-minute Bernard Foley penalty contentiously awarded by referee Craig Joubert.

Six Nations star, flyhalf Finn Russell continued his hot form for Scotland scoring a try and landing a flawless three-from-three with the boot to guide the visitors home.

Scotland had been the first to settle, winning a penalty inside the first minute when the hosts were spotted with hands in a ruck.

Scotland had the better of the early exchanges and fullback Greig Tonks gave them the lead with a long-range penalty goal.

The away side needed the gap as the Wallabies started to find space when they opened up. The Wallabies had a chance to level nearly immediately following a spectacular collision off the restart involving Ned Hanigan but Bernard Foley missed from a handy position.

Winger Lee Jones hurdled a tackler and linked with Taylor to give Watson clear passage to the try-line and the Scots held on to their advantage to the final whistle.

The Wallabies went close to leveling as Quade Cooper got involved with some short passing down the left wing with Tevita Kuridrani who found Foley but excellent scrambling defence from Scotland saved them.

The Scots looked good in the opening 15 minutes with Finn Russell in particular steering the Scots around as they enjoyed territory in the Wallabies half.

"If you have to defend 10 to 15 minutes against a team as brilliant in attack as that, you need strong bonds, and that is what this team has".

United Kingdom treasury chief: economy should be main focus in Brexit
But the Government will press ahead with the first round of Brexit talks two days before the official opening of Parliament. May's finance minister, Philip Hammond, said on Friday that Britain should prioritize protecting jobs and economic growth.

"It's about being more urgent to the game, you've got to make it happen - it's not just going to happen for you".

"They made the right decision to drive the line out and keep possession in that last minute but it was a great bit of play from the Australian defence to get a turnover, then it was great play from us to get it back".

"It's really a proud day for us all", said coach Gregor Townsend, who has now won his first two games in charge after last week's 34-13 victory over Italy in Singapore.

"There wasn't a huge amount of dropped balls, or we didn't have a lot of missed tackles or anything like that. You can not deny the fact that we've been on the wrong side of a couple of these against the Aussies for the last couple of years and it was nice to close one out", Barclay told reporters after Saturday's triumph. The boys put everything out there, which is all you can ask.

"We think Scotland are a top team", Cheika snapped.

There was a nice touch before the match got underway, with Lachlan Ward's family and Warringah teammates forming a guard of honour to commemorate the death of their loved one who died playing rugby last Saturday.

"But in this year's Six Nations we closed out a couple of really important games, tight games against Ireland and Wales, so I think we are getting better at closing out games".

"We have had big contests in the past, they are a well-coached team, and they have had some big results in the Six Nations".

"I'm disappointed we couldn't get over the line".

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