BY ROBERT REES – From Last Word on Sports
Scotland humble Australia with a 53-24 demolition of the visitors. Australia, who ended the game with 13 men had never lost to Scotland with a margin of more than nine points.
Scotland Humble Australia
It was Scotland who got off the the better start with a Finn Russell penalty, followed by a debut try for Byron McGuigan. 10-0 the score with Scotland cruising.
Scotland looked dangerous in attack with Russell and Price pulling the strings of a threatening Scottish attack, but it was two tries in two minutes by Kuridrani that gave the visitors a shock lead following some clumsy play by the hosts.
Sekope Red Carded
The lead wasn’t to last long as Sekope Kepu saw red for a no armed clear-out at the ruck.
— rugby (@theblitzdefence) November 25, 2017
It stunted the Aussie’s momentum and Ali Price clawed his way over to give Scotland a half time lead.
Half Time Scotland 17-12 Australia
Australia came out after the break on top. Beale, battered and bloodied crossing over to tie the scores, Foley missing the conversion and the chance to get his side in the lead with a calamitous attempt.
In a back and forth tie it wasn’t too long before Scotland clawed their way back into the lead. Sean Maitland found himself in space, surrounded only by forwards, easily sprinting past and into the corner.
2 more tries followed within the next 10 minutes for the hosts as they passed their record points tally at home against Australia. Johnny Gray and Huw Jones finishing off some beautifully worked tries. The latter from a cheeky quick tap after a penalty that looked like it was getting kicked to touch by Finn Russell.
McGuigan, in a man of the match performance grabbed his second of the afternoon, and this was swiftly followed by a try for Lopeti Timani for Australia.
John Barclay then followed up some impressive breakdown work with a big carry down the centre of the park, forcing missed tackles and he slid in under the posts before more late drama set Australia to end the game with 13 men.
As McGuigan sped down on the ball in the corner, Beale was deemed to have deliberately knocked the ball out of play, resulting in a yellow card and a penalty. With plenty of shouts for a penalty try from fans.
The lack of a penalty try wasn’t to matter as Scotland got on with the job in hand and Stuart McInally finished in style. Scotland passing 50 points.
To understand just how much of a humbling this was, Scotland had only ever beaten Australia by a margin of 9 or less and had never scored more than 24 points at home against the Aussie’s.
Scotland Humble Australia With Stunning Rugby
It was never Scotland’s intent to keep the ball tight and win a scrappy game, despite having a huge advantage up front. Their tight five carried well throughout and the front-row made some lovely breaks through Darren Marfo, Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson.
Jonny Gray was a potent threat at the line-out, which they turned into a successful driving maul on more than one occasion. They troubled Australia at the breakdown, Barclay sneaking a turnover amongst a bag full of tackles.
This gave a platform for the back to break free. Ali Price and Finn Russell leading the charge, but with dangerous runners all around them. Huw Jones looked very good at outside centre and Maitland and McGuigan looked solid in the back three.
Scottish Kicking Game Hurt Australia
Often teams kick ball away and viewers end up watching ‘rugby tennis’ or see the ball bobble into touch and get cleared from the resulting line-out.
This was not the case from the Scottish back today, Russell only had one really bad kick all game and that was a penalty kicked to the corner, of which he missed.
Scotland found space behind the Australia defensive line, which was rushing up quickly.
End of International Window
This game represented the end of the Autumn International Window. The Scottish squad members will return to their respective clubs for their domestic and regional competitions, with the Australians taking some time off before beginning their Super Rugby preseason training.