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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 November, 2004, 19:20 GMT
Scotland 14-31 Australia
Clyde Rathbone scored two tries for Australia
Scotland (0) 14
Tries: Lamont, Southwell
Cons: Paterson 2
Australia (28) 31
Tries: Mortlock, Rathbone 2, Tuqiri
Cons: Giteau 4
Pens: Giteau 1
Australia weathered a second-half fightback from Scotland to begin their European tour with a 31-14 victory.

The Wallabies did all the hard work by half-time at Murrayfield as scores from Stirling Mortlock, Clyde Rathbone (two) and Lote Tuqiri gave them a 28-0 lead.

Sean Lamont and Hugo Southwell's tries cut the gap, with Matt Giteau's penalty the only further score for Australia.

The tourists can claim a fourth victory this year over the Scots if they win the rematch in Glasgow on 20 November.

Scotland sent out a side composed entirely of home-based players for the first time since 1985.

But their chances of claiming a first win over Australia for 22 years faded within the first 20 minutes.

The home side made a strong start and could have taken an early lead, but Chris Paterson missed a simple penalty.

They soon paid the price for some slack defending as Rathbone sent Mortlock charging through a gap to score.

Rathbone added two carbon-copy tries in quick succession, charging down the right wing after slick passing from his team-mates had created an overlap.

We were pretty happy with the first half but we dropped off in the second
Australia's Stirling Mortlock
Some more quick ball allowed Wallabies captain George Gregan to send Tuqiri in for the fourth try, and Matt Giteau kicked his fourth conversion.

Nathan Hines then denied Stephen Larkham as the Wallaby fly-half slid towards the line, and the Scots survived further embarrassment before half-time.

Scotland were a changed side after the break, and were rewarded for a sustained spell of pressure when Lamont dived over from close range and Paterson converted.

There was a hint of an unlikely comeback when replacement Southwell jinked through on the right and slid over, the video referee confirming his first try for his country.

Paterson's conversion cut the gap to 14 points, but the entertainment value dimmed after that as both sides were let down by some sloppy play in wet conditions.

Giteau scored Australia's first points of the half with a penalty as he continued his flawless kicking display.

But Scotland's strong finish should give them heart ahead of the home meeting with Japan next weekend.

Scotland: Moffat, Lamont, Morrison, Henderson, Paterson, Parks, Cusiter, Jacobsen, Bulloch, Douglas, Hines, MacLeod, Gray, Hogg, MacFadyen.
Replacements: Ford, C. Smith, Kellock, Petrie, Blair, Craig, Southwell.

Australia: Latham, Rathbone, Mortlock, Giteau, Tuqiri, Larkham, Gregan, Young, Paul, Baxter, Harrison, Vickerman, Smith, Waugh, Roe.
Replacements: Cannon, Dunning, Chisholm, Lyons, Flatley, Rogers, Sailor.

Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand).

Interview: Australia's Stirling Mortlock

Williams praises Scotland efforts
06 Nov 04 |  Internationals

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