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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 November, 2003, 13:37 GMT
Bring on the Aussies

By Gordon Bulloch
Scotland international

It might not have been pretty, but we came here to preserve our proud record of always having reached the World Cup quarter-finals - and we have done that.

Now, having beaten Fiji in our final group game, we have a one-off match against Australia, an encounter we will go into under no pressure and with all the confidence in the world.

The Wallabies, on the other hand, have the expectancy of their own fans and media weighing heavily on their shoulders.

Gordon Bulloch celebrates against Fiji
Gordon Bulloch was delighted by the second-half fightback
And Ireland showed up a few weaknesses in their play that we would hope to exploit.

Everybody here thought the world champions would walk all over the Irish.

But Eddie O'Sullivan's side showed what a so-called second-rate Six Nations side can do on their day.

We played Ireland recently and our mistakes gifted them a lot of points, so the way they gave Australia a fright gives us tremendous heart.

As for our win over Fiji, it was touch and go all the way until the final whistle.

They took the game to us and there were a few unfortunate decisions by the referee.

Caucau is a breath of fresh air for world rugby.

We knew we had to shut him down early, but he is so elusive and his individual brilliance produced their two tries.

However, we managed to shackle him a bit more in the second half.

It is a huge boost for Scottish rugby
Gordon Bulloch
I am not sure what was said during most of the half-time talk as I was getting stitches in my face at the time.

I returned to the changing room three minutes before we were due back out and the place was like a morgue.

But myself, Brian Redpath and Kenny Logan got the guys going again.

We started well after the interval and the belief began to come back.

The second-half performance was very pleasing. We had to dig deep and the guys deserve a lot of credit for that.

There was a lot of pressure on us. If we had lost, we would have had to qualify for the next World Cup against the likes of Romania and Ukraine.

But we are through to the last eight - and that is a huge boost for Scottish rugby, the fans and the players.

It would have been great to qualify as group winners, but we weren't expected to beat France.

So we had to win the three other games at least - and we have done that.

Caucau evades the tackle of Simon Danielli
Caucau gave Scotland a tough time and scored two tries
Now we are through to the knock-out stages and have another 80 minutes of rugby.

I took a couple of bangs against Fiji and needed a couple of stitches around my eye, but I will be fine for next week.

We head for Brisbane early on Sunday morning to start preparing for the quarter-final.

It is going to be awesome. The atmosphere will be electric and we will have to play the game of our lives.

But we believe we can upset the odds and reach the semis.





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