Tuqiri thwarts Scottish show of resistance

Australia 35 Scotland 15
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The Independent Online

Australia scored three late tries to slap down a spirited Scotland yesterday in their first outing since last year's World Cup final loss to England.

Australia scored three late tries to slap down a spirited Scotland yesterday in their first outing since last year's World Cup final loss to England.

Lote Tuqiri crossed twice just days after turning down a lucrative offer to return to rugby league, while Wendell Sailor struck in the dying minutes as the Wallabies finally found their rhythm after a rusty start.

The Scots were given little hope of beating the Wallabies for the first time in more than two decades after finishing bottom of this year's Six Nations, but kept in touch through the kicking of their fly-half, Dan Parks, before the Wallabies ran away with the match in the second half.

Australia looked set for an even bigger win after they dominated the opening 20 minutes, but failed to capitalise on their great start by kicking away too much possession. The inside-centre Matt Giteau finished off a spectacular try that began inside the Australia half to give the Wallabies a 13-0 lead after just 16 minutes but the expected onslaught failed to materialise.

The Scottish defence held firm before the tourists started to make some inroads of their own. They succeeded in disrupting the Australian line-out and made several small breaks around the ruck. Australia, who had opened the scoring with two early penalties from the full-back, Joe Roff, began to show signs of frustration that allowed the Scots to peg back the lead.

Parks, who was born in Australia, opened his team's account with a penalty in the 22nd minute then added three more to send the tourists to the half-time break trailing by just a point at 13-12. Australia regained the initiative shortly after the re-start when Tuqiri crossed in the left corner.

Parks kicked a fifth penalty to pull the margin back to three points but Australia finished too strongly, scoring 17 points without reply. Roff added his third penalty before Tuqiri delivered the killer blow when he finished off another move to score his second try in the left corner. The Scots survived a series of attacks from the Australians in the final stages before conceding a late try when the Edinburgh winger Simon Webster chipped straight to Sailor and the big winger raced away to score untouched.

Scorers: Australia: Tries Giteau, Tuqiri 2, Sailor. Cons Roff 2, Burke. Pens Roff 3. Scotland: Pens Parks 5.

AUSTRALIA: J Roff; W Sailor, C Rathbone, M Giteau, L Tuqiri; S Larkham, G Gregan (capt); B Young, B Cannon, A Baxter, J Harrison, N Sharpe, R Samo, G Smith, D Lyons. Replacements: M Burke for Rathbone, 65; M Turinui for Larkham, 76; P Waugh for Smith, 55; D Vickerman for Harrison 65; J Paul for Cannon, 65; M Dunning for Young 71

SCOTLAND: H Southwell (Edinburgh); S Lamont (Glasgow), B Hinshelwood (Worcester), A Henderson (Glasgow), S Webster (Edinburgh); D Parks (Glasgow), C Cusiter (Borders); T Smith (Northampton), G Bulloch (Glasgow), B Douglas (Borders), S Grimes (Newcastle), S Murray (Edinburgh, capt), J White (Sale), D MacFadyen (Glasgow), A Hogg (Edinburgh). Replacements: I Fullarton (Saracens) for Murray, 60; J Petrie (Glasgow) for MacFadyen, 66; C Smith (Edinburgh) for Douglas, 66; G Ross (Leeds) for Parks, 71; S Scott (Borders) for Bulloch, 75; G Morrison (Glasgow) for Henderson, 76.

Referee: P Honiss (New Zealand)

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