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Scotland 9-8 Australia

Scotland (3) 9
Pens: Godman 2 Drop-goals: Paterson
Australia (3) 8
Try: Cross Pens: Giteau

Matt Giteau

Watch Matt Giteau's crucial missed conversion (UK users only)

By James Standley

Scotland ended a 27-year losing streak against Australia as an awesome defensive performance set up victory over the Wallabies at Murrayfield.

Australia dominated territory and possession but it was 3-3 at the break as Scotland fly-half Phil Godman cancelled out a Matt Giteau penalty.

A Godman penalty and Chris Paterson drop-goal saw Scotland edge ahead.

And although Ryan Cross went over for an injury-time try, Giteau's missed conversion handed the Scots victory.

The last time Scotland lowered the Wallabies' colours was way back in 1982 when they won 12-7 in Brisbane, but since that win the Australians have grown into a major force on the world stage, something that cannot be said about the Scots.

In recent times they have struggled to make an impression in the Six Nations, let alone at a global level, but after several years in the wilderness the appointment of Andy Robinson as coach has paid immediate dividends.

The former England boss may have opened his account with a win over Fiji last weekend but victory over the Wallabies, who were on a 16-game winning streak against them, looked highly unlikely.

No-one had told the Scottish players that they were not supposed to win, though, and they put their bodies on the line to clinch one of the biggest upsets of recent times.

The visitors' cause was not helped by the normally accurate Giteau missing three kickable penalties, in addition to the crucial late conversion, as he struggled to come to terms with the swirling wind in Edinburgh, but he did manage to get the scoreboard ticking over with a fifth-minute effort.


The Wallabies came desperately close to scoring the first try of the game soon after, but some heroic defence from the hosts saw powerful Australia number eight Wycliff Palu stopped inches short.

The visitors came even closer to a try when Giteau sprung Stephen Moore through a hole in the heart of the Scottish defence but more superb defence, this time from Rory Lamont and Chris Cusiter, prevented the hooker from getting the ball down.

Scotland suffered a blow as Cusiter was forced off with a head injury, and it looked as though it was only a matter of time before the Wallabies opened their try account, but as the game went past the 20-minute mark Scotland finally began to secure some possession.

A couple of powerful mauls from the forwards gave them some belief, and when the Australian pack infringed to halt a rumble from the Scottish eight, Godman punished the visitors with a well-struck penalty.

Rory Lamont

Lamont celebrates 'unbelievable' win

The Australians soon regained control of both territory and possession but more ferocious Scottish defence meant they could not cross the hosts' line, and a missed penalty and drop-goal from Giteau meant the two sides were locked together at 3-3 at the interval.

Australia continued to enjoy the upper hand but the Scots refused to yield and missed penalties from both Giteau and Godman ensured the game was still deadlocked approaching the final quarter.

Scotland were having some joy when they kept the ball at close quarters and they managed to edge ahead on a rare foray into enemy territory when Dean Mumm was caught on the wrong side of a ruck and Godman landed the difficult penalty.

Australia continued to enjoy the lion's share of the ball and it continued to look inevitable they would find a winning score.

But Scotland defended with a ferocity that would have warmed the cockles of ex-flanker Robinson's heart and Australia failed to keep their nerve when it mattered.

With 15 minutes to go Quade Cooper had a two-on-one overlap after the Aussies had sucked in the remaining defence but his miss-pass to Drew Mitchell was wastefully forward.

And when Scotland went up the other end and extended their lead to six points through Paterson's sweetly struck drop-goal even the most pessimistic of their fans started to believe victory could be theirs.

However, there was still time for Australia to launch a series of late attacks and they hammered away at the Scottish line with increasing desperation.

As the clock ticked over into injury time a last assault from the Wallabies saw them come within inches of scoring several times before Giteau sent the ball wide for replacement centre Cross to power over.

That left the fly-half with a tricky conversion to spare the Wallabies' blushes but not for the first time the ball drifted to the left of the posts as the delirious Murrayfield crowd threatened to lift the roof off the stadium.

Scotland: R Lamont; S Lamont, Grove, Morrison, Danielli; Godman, Cusiter; Jacobsen, Ford, Low, Hines, Kellock, Strokosch, Barclay, Beattie.

Replacements: De Luca for Morrison (40), Paterson for Danielli (63), R. Lawson for Cusiter (21), Hall for Ford (77), Traynor for Low (57), White for Strokosch (48), Vernon for Beattie (63).

Australia: Ashley-Cooper; Hynes, Cross, Cooper, Mitchell; Giteau, Genia; Robinson, Moore, Alexander, Horwill, Chisholm, Elsom, G Smith, Palu.

Replacements: O'Connor for Cooper (74), Burgess for Genia (63), Kepu for Robinson (17), Polota-Nau for Moore (46), Mumm for Chisholm (50), Brown for Palu (66).

Not Used: Turner.

Att: 44,762

Ref: R Poite (FRFU).

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see also
Robinson praises courageous Scots
21 Nov 09 |  Scottish
International rugby photos
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Autumn international rugby as it happened
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Wallabies wallow in Scottish mud
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Scots can beat Australia - Godman
18 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Scots unchanged for Aussie clash
17 Nov 09 |  Scottish

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