Sorry tale of two cities
Glasgow/Edinburgh 19 Australia 37
Sunday 03 November 1996
It is a situation which provoked strong words from their coach Greg Smith, who described the decision to restrict the party to 30 players as "quite absurd in the professional age".
Meanwhile, Scottish rugby's apparently rigid adherence to rucking may have to be reappraised after the five-cap Combined Cities were out-muscled by Australia. In scoring five tries to one the tourists sent a chilling message to the Scottish coaches, who have a week in which to stop them applying the same stranglehold at Murrayfield.
The line-out dominance of Welborne and Waugh provided the springboard from which Australia repeatedly rumbled forward inside the home 22. Significantly, all three back-row forwards grabbed tries, although Connors' joy soon dissipated, Smith attempting to ease the pain by remarking: "The boy who would have won his first cap next week is now going home."
Inside the final quarter, Combined Cities were trailing by just 19- 20, Kenny Logan having shot through a gap created by Scott Hastings for a try. Hastings remarked later: "At 19-20 we had to knuckle down in anticipation that the opposition would turn the screw. Unfortunately we fell away and those driving mauls were the key to their play."
Donaldson twice put Cities ahead early on but the first real sign of Aussie forward strength came when Connors forced his way over from a scrum after Logan had tossed a wild pass into the in-goal area. These Wallaby backs lie deeper than recent predecessors and David Knox used the extra space to get outside Campese for their second try after a neat loop. With Knox slotting a penalty as well as a conversion the tourists led 15-9 at the interval but took a while to shake off their opponents.
Logan's try cut the deficit to 19-20, Campese having crossed on an overlap moments earlier. Gradually Australia asserted themselves and Knox kicked another penalty in between tries by Manu and Wilson, both from off those inevitable rolling mauls.
Edinburgh/Glasgow Select: D Lee (Watsonians); D Stark (Melrose), S Hastings (Watsonians, Capt), A Garry (Watsonians) K Logan (Stirling County); A Donaldson (Currie), G Beveridge (Boroughmuir); A Watt (Currie), G Bulloch (West), B Stewart (Edinburgh Accies), P Jennings (Boroughmuir), A Lucking (Curfrie), S Reid (Boroughmuir), D McLeish (West), D Clark (Currie).
Australia: J Roff; B Tune, D Herbert, P Howard, D Campese; D Knox, G Gregan; R Harry, M Folley, A Blades, W Waugh, J Welborne, D Manu (M Caputo, 66), M Connors (Kefu, 63), D Wilson (Capt).
Referee: Mr A Watson (Ireland).
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