By Alan Dymock at Murrayfield
In a nutshell
You can never say you will get “more of the same” from Scotland or Australia, such is the tumult both sides seem to eternally ride out. So it was not too much of a surprise when both sides cut about Murrayfield with intent while the turf cut up. Australia did just enough to win the match.
Israel Folau scored a tasty little try after a neat inside pass from Quade Cooper and it looked like this could be the same Scotland that was rattled by South Africa, but they sprung back. David Denton, Johnnie Beattie and Jim Hamilton in particular led a charge and Scotland whirred into contact with much more conviction than a week ago.
Greig Laidlaw was the image of dead-eyed efficiency while Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland were sprightly. However, Australia hung in there with the odd kick from an off-kilter Christian Leali’ifano and they did just enough in the second half – including a swift try that ended in the corner with Chris Feauai-Sautia – to see Scotland off. Yet the hosts may come out with some credit as they earn their ‘brave losers’ tag all over again.
Scotland could have had a different result to ponder had they scored from a barnstorming move which had Beattie, Maitland and Sean Lamont hurtling towards the Wallaby line. Folau had other ideas, though, and in keeping out the Scots wing he set Scotland’s fate.
Star man – Israel Folau
He was a constant nuisance and his defence was solid. Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen and Beattie deserve praise for their relentless self-punishment, and Cooper and Maitland did enough to ward off some grumbles about their form, but Folau was just too cool under the kick. So many of his runs created momentum and only a few times was he totally tied up.
Scotland – Pen: Laidlaw 5
Australia– Try: Folau, Feauai-Sautia Con: Lali’ifano Pen: Leali’ifano 3