Paterson's boot polish earns Scots shiny finish

Scotland 9 Australia 8

With seven minutes remaining on the clock at the home of Scottish rugby on Saturday evening, and with the hosts 6-3 to the good on the scoreboard, Rocky Elsom drove over the halfway line with intent writ large upon his face. The Australian captain did not get very far. He was grabbed around the legs by Jason White, pounced on by John Barclay, and duly penalised for holding on to possession.

Chris Paterson – like White, one of the Caledonian cavalry called up from the replacements' bench midway through the second half – kicked to the left touchline and hooker Ross Ford threw the ball to Nathan Hines at the front of the line-out. There followed a series of 10 crisp drives by the Scottish forwards before Rory Lawson, a replacement for the wounded Scotland captain and scrum-half Chris Cusiter, shipped the ball back and Paterson calmly pulled the trigger of his right boot from a range of 25 metres. He hit the bullseye. Scotland were 9-3 up and on the cusp of a historic victory.

All in, the three-minute passage was a thing of sheer rugby beauty: the cool, clinical, controlled manner in which possession was gained, in which the drop-goal opportunity was engineered, and in which Paterson executed the three-point score. Sitting in the coaches' box at the back of the West Stand, Scotland's head coach gave a smile of quiet satisfaction.

In a previous coaching existence, Andy Robinson had been responsible for knocking England's forwards into the kind of shape that set up that last-gasp drop at glory in the 2003 World Cup final for Jonny Wilkinson. The Webb Ellis Trophy might not have been at stake at Murrayfield on Saturday but it was an achievement of considerable import to Scottish rugby that Paterson's kick ultimately secured – after the heart-sinking moment of Ryan Cross breaching the home try line 15 seconds into overtime and the blessed relief of Matt Giteau's mangled conversion attempt, that is.

Not since 4 July 1982, had Scotland got the better of Australia. Inspired by Andy Irvine, their buccaneering full-back and captain, they won 12-7 at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane that day – the same day that Jimmy Connors beat John McEnroe in a five-set thriller of a Wimbledon final. In the 27 years since then, no Scotland side had managed to get within 10 points of the Wallabies, nor succeeded in restricting them to a tally of less than 27. And this was, with one exception, the same Australian XV that cruised to an untroubled 18-9 win at Twickenham two weeks previously.

It was an unlikely success forged on the same kind of Herculean defensive effort that earned Scotland an 18-12 win against England at Murrayfield in February 2006, when Robinson was on the suffering end as the visiting head coach. The tackle count on that occasion was 112-36. On Saturday evening it was 129-64 to the Scots.

"I've said to the team that that's the most courageous performance I've ever been involved in," Robinson reflected. "The effort that was put in, the way the team got off the floor and kept knocking them back – and credit to Graham Steadman, our defence coach – was incredible. We needed a bit of luck, but the guys worked hard to establish that luck. If we can perform like that, with that same courage every time we go on the pitch, then we can grow as a team. I'd like us to have more ball, but that's the platform for us now. That's the baseline."

Robinson's men are likely to need rather more possession and territory against Argentina this coming Saturday if they are to send their influential head honcho into the Six Nations Championship with a three-wins-from-three 100 per cent record behind him. They had precious little of either against Australia but produced a masterclass in how to play rugby minus the ball. Their scramble defence was superb. Stephen Moore, the Wallaby hooker, had the line at his mercy midway through the first half but in a flash, Rory Lamont, Cusiter and Moray Low were all over him and the player and ball were held up.

It was a similar story when Elsom barged over the line six minutes into the second half. Between them, prop Allan Jacobsen and lock and stand-in captain Al Kellock kept the ball off the floor. Cross did ground the ball over the whitewash after a 20-phase assault took the contest into overtime but then Giteau miscued the conversion, making Paterson's drop and Phil Godman's two penalties sufficient for the Scots to prevail.

The Wallaby fly-half had already fluffed two penalties and a drop goal and he held his head in his hands as his final effort flew wide. "We got what we deserved for not taking our chances," Robbie Deans, Australia's Kiwi head coach, lamented. "But credit to Scotland for their brave defence." Credit indeed.

Scotland: R Lamont (Toulon); S Lamont (Scarlets), A Grove (Worcester), G Morrison (Glasgow), S Danielli (Ulster); P Godman (Edinburgh), C Cusiter (Glasgow, captain); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), M Low (Glasgow), N Hines (Leinster), A Kellock (Glasgow), A Strokosch (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow), J Beattie (Glasgow). Replacements: R Lawson (Gloucester) for Cusiter, 21; N De Luca (Edinburgh) for Morrison, h-t; J White (Clermont Auvergne) for Strokosch, 48; R Vernon (Glasgow) for Beattie, 63; C Paterson (Edinburgh) for Danielli, 63); D Hall (Glasgow) for Ford, 77.

Australia: A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies); P Hynes (Queensland), R Cross (Western Force), Q Cooper (Queensland), D Mitchell (NSW); M Giteau (Queensland), W Genia (Queensland); B Robinson (NSW), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), J Horwill (Queensland), M Chisholm (Brumbies), R Elsom (Brumbies, captain), G Smith (Brumbies), W Palau (NSW). Replacements: S Kepu (NSW) for Robinson, 17; T Polota-Nau (NSW) for Moore, 46; D Mumm (NSW) for Chisholm, 50; L Burgess (NSW) for Genia, 63; R Brown (W Force) for Palu, 65; J O'Connor (W Force) for Cooper, 73.

Referee: R Poite (France).

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album