Rugby union: Scots suffer first defeat

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The Independent Online
Australian Barbarians 39 Scotland 34

SCOTLAND succumbed to the first loss on their tour of Australia yesterday when they were beaten by the Australian Barbarians in Sydney. In an oscillating match featuring 11 tries, the lead changed four times before the Barbarians finally sealed victory to condemn the Scots to their first defeat after three previous wins.

The Scots, fielding a second-string side in their last match before Saturday's first Test against Australia, almost levelled the match in the final seconds when Jamie Mayer kicked through and dived on the loose ball but the referee, Wayne Erickson, correctly ruled that he had not grounded the ball.

"I was quite pleased with the display, or at least as pleased as you can be with a defeat," Jim Telfer, the Scotland coach, said. "We were 12 points down with five minutes to go and we nearly won it. Some Scottish teams in the past would have folded when they were 12 points down, so you've got to give some credit to our lads.

"It would have been a great feeling if we'd won because it would have kept our unbeaten record in Australia and given the team a real boost before the Test match," Telfer added.

"It doesn't really matter that we lost because we played quite well, it was just the lapses in concentration that spoiled all the good work that we'd done. The game was there for the taking but we just didn't take it."

Australian Barbarians: Tries: R Nalatu 2, P Howard, J Langford, I Fenukitau, S Drahm; Conversions: S Drahm 2, E Flatley; Penalties: Flatley. Scotland: Tries: D Lee 2, J Mayer, I Jardine, A Roxburgh; Conversions: D Hodge 3; Penalty: Hodge.

SCOTLAND: D Lee; H Gilmour, J Mayer, I Jardine (C Officer, 70), A Bulloch; D Hodge, G Burns; S Reid (capt), S Holmes (C Mather, 70), A Roxburgh, R Metcalfe, S Campbell, M Stewart (P Wright, 69), S Brotherstone, G McIlwham.

Australian Barbarians: M Bartholomeusz (C Latham, 50); R Nalatu (M Crick, 72), J Jones-Hughes, E Flatley (S Drahm 40), D Smith; P Howard, S Cordingley (B Johnstone, 65); P Besseling, K Gleeson, I Fenukitau (T Jacques, 68), N Sharpe, J Langford (G Morgan, 55), G Panoho (S Webster, 42), B Cannon, B Young.

Referee: W Erickson (Aus).