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?
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits