Scotland stun Wallabies as Greig Laidlaw lands storming kick

Australia 6 Scotland 9

You wait an age for a victory over Australia... Scotland completed one of the most improbable results of recent seasons to end an embarrassing run of seven consecutive defeats in dramatic fashion thanks to Greig Laidlaw's coolly dispatched penalty with the final kick of the contest. It was the Scots' first win Down Under for 30 years but in fact their second in succession over Australia.

It is a result that gives a new sense of purpose to Andy Robinson's stop-start tenure as Scotland's coach. Three years ago he had launched his management by overseeing defeat of Australia at Murrayfield, Scotland's first against such opponents since that 1982 triumph in Brisbane. Yesterday, in appalling conditions in Newcastle, New South Wales, his side conjured a victory against a home side who dominated territory and possession. It justified the Scottish Rugby Union's decision to issue a vote of confidence in the Englishman, despite a dire Six Nations that ended with a wooden spoon.

"Back-to-back victories against Australia for a Scotland team is immense," said Robinson after watching his side yield 67 per cent possession and 68 per cent territory to the home side.

With a howling gale blowing in support of Scotland in the first half they built a 6-3 lead by the interval through two Laidlaw penalties. Two moments of characteristic sloppy handling saw try-scoring opportunities squandered following breaks by Ross Rennie and Sean Lamont. The first-half territory was Scotland's but the advantage that brought was slender.

With the wind in their favour Australia, who, with an eye on Saturday's Test against Wales, fielded five debutants, set up camp in Scotland's 22 but also failed to breach their opponents' line. Scotland missed just three of 132 tackles over the 80 minutes – the outstanding Rennie making 24 of them.

The lock Rob Simmons did pile over amid a heap of bodies midway through the half but could not ground the ball. Mike Harris's second penalty tied the score and Scotland were hanging on, clearing kicks frequently swirling back, with little ground made. But in the closing minutes Laidlaw made a break and a series of drives and scrums took the tourists towards their opponents' 22. The 80 minutes were done when one final scrum saw Jaco Peyper penalise the Australian front row for taking it down and Laidlaw did the rest.

"They're not the worst conditions I've experienced," said Ross Ford, Scotland's captain and another of the stand-out performers. "But it was right up there. Contrary to popular belief, we prefer playing in dry weather. Our boys just stuck in there and stuck to their task. We put ourselves under a lot of pressure but when we finally got the ball we made the most of it."

Scotland's ball retention was notably better than during a succession of slipshod performances in the Six Nations, although they have now failed to score a try in six of their last nine games as execution again proved beyond them. But, most importantly, a win is a win for Robinson.

"I think it's phenomenal," said Ross of victory over a side ranked second only to world champions New Zealand. "A great morale boost for the squad especially against a side like Australia."

Australia Morahan; Tomane, A Faingaa, Harris, Ioane; Barnes, Genia; Slipper, Moore, Palmer, Timani, Sharpe, Dennis, Pocock, Higginbotham. Replacements Alexander for Palmer (70), Simmons for Timani (55), Hooper for Dennis (65).

Scotland Hogg; Ansbro, De Luca, Scott, Lamont; Laidlaw, Blair; Grant, Ford, Murray, Kellock, Gray, Strokosch, Rennie, Barclay. Replacements Brown for Lamont (39), Cusiter for Blair (64).

Referee Jaco Peyper (South Africa).


Pens: Harris 2.


Pens: Laidlaw 3

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower