Rugby Union: No bounds to Burke's boot

Australia 33 Scotland 11
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The Independent Online
SCOTLAND conducted a damage limitation exercise in Brisbane yesterday by restricting defeat to a mere 22 points against Australia. Last Saturday the gulf between the two sides almost as wide as the Tasman Sea as the Wallabies strolled to a resounding 45-3 victory over the tourists, so despite a performance that rekindled a modicum of pride, their captain, a bloodied Rob Wainwright, was in no mood to offer excuses. After all, Scotland have now won only one of their nine games this season, a narrow Five Nations success in Ireland.

"There were too many mistakes in attack by us," he conceded. "I can never be happy with a 33-11 loss, though Australia are a very good side. We never managed to express ourselves in attack in the Tests and that was disappointing."

Duncan Hodge scored a late try for the tourists but Australia were able to cruise to victory - outscoring the tourists by four tries to one - albeit without scaling the heights of rugby excellence displayed in last week's record rout.

This was acknowledged by the Australia captain, John Eales, who was gracious enough to praise the Scots' endeavours.

Ben Tune and Stephen Larkham crossed before half-time and the replacements, Willie Ofahengaue and debutant Nathan Grey, sealed the win in the second period, with Matthew Burke scoring some 13 points with his boot.

However, Eales said: "In some aspects we're a bit disappointed with how we went but Scotland defended well throughout the game and you can only play as well as your opponents let you. We would've liked to have made fewer mistakes and if we make as many in the Tri-Nations series, we'll have no chance."

The victory is the Wallabies' third in three weeks after defeats of England - by 76-0 - and the Scots but a far tougher Test looms large and menacing on 11 July, against New Zealand.

Australia: M Burke; B Tune, D Herbert, T Horan, J Roff; S Larkham, G Gregan; R Harry, P Kearns, A Blades, T Bowman, J Eales (capt), M Cockbain, T Kefu, D Wilson. Replacements: C Whitaker, N Grey, J Little, W Ofahengaue, O Finegan, D Crowley, J Paul.

Scotland: G Metcalfe; D Lee, C Murray, R Shepherd, S Longstaff; G Townsend, B Redpath; D Hilton, K McKenzie, M Proudfoot, S Murray, S Grimes, R Wainwright (capt), E Peters, G Simpson. Replacements: C Joiner, D Hodge, G Burns, A Roxburgh, G Campbell, G McIlwham, S Brotherstone.

Referee: B Campsall (England).