Australia 19-24 Scotland

The weather ahead of this Sydney test had threatened rain but by the time the teams took the field it was dry enough for some good rugby.

Ryan Wilson kicked off the handbags after just 42 seconds, but it took John Barclay 2 minutes to start the fierce breakdown contest that characterised the first half. The penalty was possibly at the edge of Finn Russell’s range so Greig Tonks slotted it calmly.

Unfortunately the Scots then conceded a penalty on the very next play (a restart, obviously) but Bernard Foley put it wide of the posts.

Both sides were keen to run the ball and hitting hard and fast in defence. As soon as Scotland got near the 22, the Australian intensity increased and Russell found it hard to pick holes as easily as he had done against Italy.

With the larger share of possession in the opening quarter of an hour the first try actually came from an Australian turnover, Duncan Taylor reading the Wallaby attack not quite ready to follow up a Michael Hooper turnover and intercepting to scamper under the posts.

Two offences defending lineouts on their own line threatened to test the patience of referee Wayne Barnes but when they got it in play, simple hands to Israel Folau found him in an acre of space out wide, Tonks having pushed out to mark the winger.

After the Wallabies next attack ended with the ball dead, Finn took the quick tap and set off through a sleepy Australian midfield and had a lot of space to run into. Bernard Foley checked his run with a shoulder and was rightly sent to the bin.

They couldn’t make the next attack count but were in the right area of the park and when Will Genia telegraphed a box-kick clearance, Finn Russell got a hand on it and managed to gather in goal for Scotland’s second try.

Fraser Brown almost had an interception of his own but didn’t have the legs and couldn’t get the offload away to the lively Hamish Watson.

The half ended with Australia attacking the Scottish line and Ryan Wilson sent to the bin for repeated (individual) infringements. Australia’s maul still didn’t fire but they don’t need it when Folau is able to leap a clear six feet off the ground, as he did to Greig Tonks to claim Bernard Foley’s cross field kick.

Half-time: Australia 12-17 Scotland

Still down a man, Scotland might have aimed for damage limitation to open the half but both sides were still looking to play high tempo rugby.

As the bench selection suggested, Ford and Nel were brought on quite early as almost like for like subs while Matt Scott was on early for Rory Hughes who picked up a knock around the eye area late in the first half, Taylor filling in on the wing.

As the game wore on, Michael Hooper’s influence was growing on the breakdown area, and the pace of play was increasingly dictated by the home side, John Barclay this time on the wrong side of an increasing number of calls.

Despite the disciplinary issues, Scotland’s shape in defence was pretty good but Karmichael Hunt – probably the pick of the Australian backline – was doing his best Alex Dunbar impression over the ball.

Australia, oddly, looked a lot better when they settled it down and patient phases against determined Scottish defence bore fruit eventually for Will Genia who dotted it over the line from close range to give the Wallabies the lead for the first time approaching the hour mark.

Scotland are these days not the sort of team to give that up lightly and once restored to a full XV Finn Russell – who was once again very good – sparked things with a quick combination with Lee Jones to gain ground. Once it was recycled he was at it again with a little dummy pump giving just enough extra time to get the ball through the hands, Tonks, Taylor and Jones combining before Taylor popped it inside to Hamish Watson for the try.

Finn continued to threaten, perhaps taking on a little too much work when territory would have been more sensible, but who cares about sensible if they can keep the level of execution consistent?

Australia’s very own Finn Russell, Quade Cooper, showed a little of the Wallaby magic that had been missing for most of the game, sparking his backline into life but the defence held at the first time of asking, giving away just the penalty. As they had all game, Australia spurned the kick and went for the corner but Scotland’s maul defence was stout enough that they earned the scrum, to the delight of Jonny Gray and his pack.

Scotland had tightened up the indiscipline from the first half, but Australia despite a lot of errors were still in control of the field position and a lot of the last quarter of this match was played in the Scottish half which made it a tense spectacle like so many of these games in recent years. Every time Scotland cleared it, the kicks weren’t far enough to give them any sort of breather.

A break finally came on 78 minutes when John Barclay capped off a lion-hearted captain’s performance with a breakdown turnover that Barnes had to see his way. With the clock off, both sides took a breather and prepared for a final onslaught.

Scotland unwisely played far too conservatively with the ball and almost inevitably the equally excellent Michael Hooper snaffled a penalty that threatened to break Scottish hearts. Australia came close to the Scottish line but the defence held until that whistle went again – for another breakdown penalty and the arm raised towards the Scottish line.

This time, there was no heartbreak.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

SRBlog Man of the Match: Jonny Gray was back to his combative best but I’m going to share this one: John Barclay was a tower from first to last minute despite occasional differences with the referee. And the beating heart of Scotland when they play like this is Finn Russell, once again superb in defence and bamboozling an Australian backline into giving him space and time, which is all he needs. If he does get the call to the Lions tomorrow, he’ll be there on merit.

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96 comments on “Australia 19-24 Scotland

  1. Andrew McGavin on

    Great commitment and pressure from the boys in the first half. Tonks really solid – hasn’t let anyone down. Not much in attack to trouble the Wallabies, but our defence and sharpness/quick thinking is why we’re in the lead.

    Also, Finn and Dell called up to the Lions (+ 4 Welshmen!!).

    • FF on

      2 of those Welshman are Corey Hill (lock – instead of Jonny Gray and Joe Launchberr) and Kristian Dacey (ahead of Ross Ford, Fraser Brown, Dylan Hartley). Even Tomas Francis is not really a merit-pick. Really devalues selection in my view and ridiculous Welsh-bias. Corey Hill can’t even get in the Wlesh team FFS.

      • Andy Slow on

        Gatland just said before the lions kicked off it’s to do with travel times that no English called up. Doesn’t make any less of a nonsense picking Hill as the replacement lock though. Surely any of the touring Scottish locks are miles in front of him? Poor show.

      • FF on

        He could have called them up a few days earlier to select Hartley or Launchberry. It is a piss poor excuse.

      • DesT on

        Fuming about that, a Lions coach shouldn’t have a conflict of interest.

        Cory Hill is ahead of Toolis, Gray, Barclay or Pinball?

        It’s bad for the Lions squad, never mind devaluing it.

      • The fat bloke on

        Gatland: “give us quality training numbers to prepare properly” …. so, these players are going out as tackle bags. Deplorable. If I was Gregor Townsend, I would be inclined to tell Gatland to foxtrot-oscar.

  2. Neil on

    Who else was thinking with that lineout on the 79th minute , throw it to the front this time ! , good to see the team remember from the world cup.

    Ofc it still has to be a scare with the last play though.

  3. Martin on

    Just stunning. Without half a team the commitment to defence and commitment to skilled attack was a pleasure to watch. Everyone contributed and I was so wrong about the selection- delighted to be so !!!!

  4. TeamCam on

    Great stuff from the chaps, especially Watson’s try, and especially given the second/third-choice nature of a good chunk of the team. If they cut out the errors and sub Wilson if he looks belligerent, they could well be on to something!

    As for the Lions, I can’t believe Gatland can call up three nobodies from Wales and then defend it with a straight face. Also, much as I like him, is Dell really a Lion? I can’t believe he’s preferable to Healy, for example. Gatland is a truly unlikeable ass.

    • Andy on

      Davies and Francis are very good players but the other two over Jonny or Brown is an absolute joke. Not to mention the English and Irish players not considered. FWIW Dell was incredible today.

      • TeamCam on

        Davies was, but is nowhere near back to his best. I’d take Price over him any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Francis isn’t even first-choice at Exeter, and I can’t understand anyone choosing to take him over Nel or even Fagerson. Dell was very good today, and is great in the loose, but if the Lions are all about set-piece, then surely you’d want to take Healy, right?

  5. Andy on

    Not perfect by any means but fantastic to get the monkey off our backs. A few collosal performances both starters and off the bench.

  6. FF on

    Unbelievable result – gutted I couldn’t watch it. I think we’re up to 4th in the rankings! Really inspirational result, let’s hope u20s keep up their good work too.

  7. JohnMc on

    May make some more comment when thoughts better collected.
    But for now, what an epic win that was! Third try was magnificent in its own right – even more so in the context of having just lost the lead.
    Barclay, Watson and Russell simply outstanding throughout, to name just three. Great call to bring WP on sooner than planned probably. Not sure Fagerson had done much wrong, but clearly Barnes had his number.
    I wonder what the Lions management team made of the performances of some of the lads they overlooked?
    But don’t want to finish on a sour note so just want to say, fantastic result Scotland. You’ve done your country proud.

  8. Robert Murray on

    Well worth the early rise! Incredible team performance, even from the new starts. Was panicking we would lose it again in last five, but the lads held it together. Brilliant!!!!!

  9. Andy Slow on

    Great result and a lot of good performances. Tonks was solid. Good for him. A hundred times more exciting than the kickathon going on in NZ…get Finn over and let him play

  10. niall2510 on

    what did fatland say he didn’t take our boys for because we couldn’t win away under pressure!!!! good luck beating the all blacks with the Welsh reserve team you muppet

  11. john martin on

    Wonderful commitment & fitness by the boys, we always have close games with the Aussies as we are similar, our defence against their big battering rams was exceptional & Nel had a great game steadying the ship too.

    Finn Russell was the difference, he kept them honest all game.

    The Lions desperately need Finn’s flair

    Just remember that is without 6 backs who’d likely be in the 23, John Hardie & Richie Gray

  12. john martin on

    Having to ignore the circus surrounding Gatland, his Welsh Lions replacements are simply blinkered idiotic nepotism……..

    • FF on

      That apparently benefits his employers around £280,000 as the unions get fees as well as their players.

      • Bulldog on

        This debacle just Stinks. Great lions of the past must be fuming at how he has undermined the honour of the jersey they earned with pride.

  13. John Macmillan on

    I watched the game with a couple of Welsh pals they were very angry with gatland they said the 4 players he sent for are not good enough to be lions they watch Welsh rugby every week

  14. DesT on

    A good win, but we were let off the hook by the Wallabies butchering chances. The game management by Pyrgos was non-existent today.

    That said, we defended very well (possibly forced the Wallabies into some of the errors) and took our tries well too.

    I’m glad Finn got called up after this match and it makes us look to a genuine option at Fly half.

    • Ian on

      Good point about chance to create more options at fly-half.
      At one stage, Tonks had a decent spell at no 10 for edinburgh before he fell into the general malaise – I recall that him having some threatening distribution to his support runners. Also Jackson is doing well in premiership so again no bad thing to give him a run out. Roll-on the next turn of the toonie tambola.

      • IMac on

        Would love to confirm this but Jackson barely gets on the bench at Harlequins … a bit like Denton at Bath he is just not cutting it against some real quality competition and will probably need to move down a peg to a London Irish/ Worcester to get game time …. on the positive Josh Bassett at Wasps seems to be a real livewire and would be a great addition

    • JohnMc on

      Among a whole host of positives across the team today, I have to agree with you on Pyrgos. He was rubbish on exit and it could easily have cost us again, just like poor exiting cost us at Murrayfield in November against the same opposition. When it’s clear the pack is more than capable of gaining another 20 metres or so by carry, ruck and repeat, why would any 9 want to hoist a high one for the oppo to recover just outside our own 22? Clueless.
      On another upbeat note, I’ve just rewatched the third try, and what I’d forgotten in all the excitement of watching it live was the superb build up to it – pretty much from our own 22 through several phases right and left before the final phase. Simply brilliant!

      • RuggersB on

        Positives: Very good overall performance …some players looked excellent to me. Watson, Barclay, Taylor, Russell, Gray….very solid set piece…we look good in the scrum again. Tonks wasn’t the waste of a jersey I thought he’d be…he had a solid game.
        Townsend certainly does look like he is trying to take the team to the next level…his style of play suits us.

        Negatives: Toonie please find a better alternative than Pyrgos! Infuriating box kicks when we are under pressure around the 22 was rediculous. Clearly retaining possession was the correct option. Only excellent defense from his teammates and poor handling errors from OZ let him off the hook… Our level drops anytime I see him play.

  15. mark conley on

    Congratulations to the team and coaching staff, thoroughly deserved, yours truly, from Canberra, australia

  16. Frozen North on

    Wonderful to read this unexpected news…would be even better to be able to see it!

    Our rugby Spring has really now just begun.

    • Not rocket science on

      The whole match is on YouTubein HD. I found it via Reddit threads. Aussie commentary is slightly annoying! By what a result! Delighted Finn’s been called up… fingers crossed

  17. Ad on

    I don’t think I could have taken it if Australia snatched another one at the end. Overall a good team performance. Too many penalties and unforced errors but in some ways it is very encouraging that we can win these games and still have room for improvement – that is even before some of the first teamers return.

    Our back three which were a concern before the game were pretty solid and Jones and Tonks linked up well in the build up to Watsons try. Folau’s take of the high ball before his second try was just ridiculous – so I hold nothing against Tonks for that one. Toony has done a lot with players other coaches have struggled with so I hope Tonks will be another example.

    Apart from those mentioned already – I thought Taylor had another good game although he was a bit quieter when shifted to the wing. Dunbar still looking tired in attack but great in defence. Wilson should have been hooked a lot sooner – he was having one of those days.

  18. DJB on

    The defensive effort today was superb and forced numerous handling errors from the Aussies. Very few poor performances today – Wilson was a bit of a liability (as he can be sometimes). Tonks was really good – like many, I feared that he would be a weak link. Russell and Barclay -world class again.

    • Doddies Trews on

      Wilson did have an off day. I think it’s just the kind of combatative player he is; sometimes he’ll get under the ref’s nose and that will be that. He’s a useful member of the squad though. Utility back row, abrasive, runs himself into the ground, and a positive influence behind the scenes by all accounts. He’s one of the most improved players over the last couple of seasons.

      • Southern Rob on

        Agreed, Wilson gives you 100% and you could never question his commitment. He’s probably not good enough at 6, 7 or 8 to be a first choice when everyone is fit/available. But, I’d probably have him on the bench ahead of even someone like Hardie, because of his versatility.

  19. Bulldog on

    ‘Wallabies at strength but without their, chum Joubert lose at home. Justice is still not served Mr Cheika’. That is the headline we should be sent to the Sunday papers.

    I would have preferred to see a full 15 man battle when Wilson got the handbags out in the opening minute.

    Scotland without the stars play as a team and become world number 4. Just shows no ‘ I ‘ in teamwork and all those absent, need to play for their place and fit into the new team culture, IMO.

    As for all those who criticised Townsend for not going with Gatland’s lions, time to reconsider. Townsend did the right thing and our lads have pledged loyalty to him.

    A great day for Scottish rugby.

  20. CC on

    It was very good to see us win against strong opposition with only 7 of are strongest XV playing. I think that we might be coming very good and I am feeling optimistic even for the NZ AI. We could see a team of:

    1- Sutherland, 2- Brown, 3- Nel, 4- Gray, 5- Gray, 6- Barclay, 7- Watson, 8- Strauss
    9- Price, 10- Russell, 11- Seymour, 12- Taylor, 13- Jones, 14- Maitland, 15- Hogg

    16- Ford, 17- Dell, 18- Fagerson, 19- Toolis, 20- Hardie, 21- Laidlaw, 22- Dunbar, 23- Tonks

    • Ross on

      Almost completely agree. With the exception of Tonks – he was good today but not fantastic. And one good game does not make up for quite a long time of being pretty underwhelming. Visser at 23 for me in the autumn.

      Sutherland I agree with but he’s been injured a long while and we don’t know what player he will come back as. Think Dell will be our starting LH for a fair bit more. Dicko, Reid or Sutherland on the bench. Would also probably have Horne in at 22 instead for versatility, Dunbar seems more of an either starting XV or not-in-the-squad type player to me.

      • CC on

        Ross, Tonks is in the squad as I think he would be a better reserve 10 than Horne. Horne has been poor for a while now and I think Tonks perhaps offers more.
        Dunbar is on the bench as either one of Taylor or Jones can cover any other position.

  21. Doddies Trews on

    Absolutely buzzing! Although it took about half an hour for my heart rate to come back down after I thought we were going to throw it away yet again after that penalty on 80 mins!

    The expansive game we are playing, both at senior and junior level, is a joy to behold.

    Russell is world class on his day; when he plays like that he’s the best 10 in the NH. Toonie and Rennie just need to get him to increase his consistency now.

    Barclay had another superb captaincy. What a turnaround from his wilderness years. That, in combination with Russell’s improved place kicking, and Price’s lively performances, make me think that Laidlaw is no longer in our best XV.

    Tonks was solid at FB. Sure he was outjumped by Folau but no one in the world outside of the NBA was beating him to that ball. Well played Greig (and Toonie) you proved a lot of people wrong, myself included.

    This result really feels like a watershed moment for Scotland. The demons from RWC and numerous other close losses have been exorcised. Big things are coming and I can’t wait!

    Here’s to the u20s getting a result tomorrow…

  22. Pirate 4 on

    Great win and tbh not totally unexpected from me – check my Superbru predictions.

    Some of the lads should have been in the Lions squad and most of us agree on that point. If you read my pre Lions tour comments then it’s obvious – because I said it – that I could not support Gatlands Welsh and English based team.
    The players now called up will be used as cannon fodder in the third test when, already 2 – 0 down, the so called first choice players will suddenly be unavailable due to “injury”, leaving fringe players with the task of stopping the All Blacks.
    Joke team and tour. Gatland was the wrong choice and is making a mockery of the jersey.

    • Doddies Trews on

      He has indeed made a mockery of the Lions Concept. On the plus side we are looking good for the dream scenario of Scotland going 3-0 down under playing gorgeous rugby whilst the Welsh Irish and English select get pumped 3-0 playing dour Warrenball.

  23. john martin on

    7s, u20s & 1st XV playing lovely rugby.

    Glasgow play that way, but Edinburgh don’t, 1/2 back is a worry so…………

    I’d loan George Horne to Edinburgh to compete with SHC for a starting place, (Kennedy & Fowles are average), indeed SHC being exactly the same size as George Ford what about a Horne/SHC 1/2 back partnership

  24. Busy Little Bee on

    Magic win. Hope 2-3 weeks with the Lions doesn’t damage Russell, would rather he and Dell stayed with us but financially apart from anything else they should accept the invite.

    Pyrgos – is it just me or is he really not good enough? I keep reading about his game management, but can’t see it. I accept people who know a lot more about the game than me, such as Townsend, pick him. Hopefully Horne Jnr will also surpass him next season. Nothing against him and don’t doubt his attitude.

    Going forward. Is Dickinson finished or what? I like Taylor-Jones as first choice centre pairing, does Dunbar do anything better than Taylor….breakdown maybe.

  25. Martin on

    Having a moment to reflect I wanted to pick an alternative xv the players involved today by means of showing where we have great depth and perhaps where we need a bit more.

    Dickinson, turner, Bergman, r.gray, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Hardie, Denton, Laidlaw, Horne, H.Jones, Bennett, Visser, Seymour, Hogg – plus alll the youngsters coming through and making a difference as well – this really is building towards very well

    • Ross on

      Was thinking the same yesterday, produced a very similar team.

      Dickinson, McInally, Rae, R.Gray, Gilchrist
      Hardie, Denton, Bradbury
      Laidlaw, Horne, Jones, Bennett
      Maitland, Hogg, Seymour

      Subs: Sutherland, Turner, Berghan, Cummings (or Carmichael), Harley (or Du Preez, or Ashe), SHC, Grigg, Visser

      From the young-ins we have Hastings, Hunter-Hill, Kinghorn, Graham, Farndale, M. Fagerson, Ritchie, Nairn, G. Horne, Fenton, Eastgate, Henderson and many others coming through. Pretty happy with that.

  26. Kilry on

    So are we actually up to 4th in the rankings? Beeb is saying back to 5th which is different to their earlier article.
    Also thought the Ozzie commentators on sky were a bit negative about Scotland’s play, one of them reiterated about 10 times how are disruptive style of play is more about negating Australia’s game plan than executing anything of our own. Can’t of been watching for the last 12 months.

    • Doddies Trews on

      We’re back to 5th after falling to 6th last week. However, beat Fiji by 16+ points and we go fourth.

      The commentators were one-eyed and clueless. Made the victory all the more satisfying ;)

      • JohnMc on

        Interesting that we somehow dropped to sixth after an easy win against Italy last week. Must have been results elsewhere that caused it. Whatever, that’s two sides we’ve beaten in four months who were above us in the rankings at kick-off time. I really hope this important away victory fills this squad with confidence that places like the Aviva and Principality need hold no fears in next year’s 6N.
        Not only were the Oz commentators crap – they were wittering on about peripheral matters while Scotland were working their way towards that superb third try – but their support in the stadium was rubbish too. Almost a stunned silence in the first 20 minutes as the 30k who turned up expecting to stuff us were bewildered by things not working out to their expectations.
        Get in there, Scotland!

  27. Mikelinds on

    No ranking points to be won against Italy although we could have lost a shed full. I’m not even sure about the statement that a 16 point win against Fiji will do the trick. Every chance a resurgent SA will hammer Les Bleus again so that must put them close as well. Easy to work out once this week’s algorithm has cleared. Just enter possible results.

    To be honest, fourth or fifth, not troubled, more than satisfied to beat Oz in Sydney, especially with the number of guys out.

    • JohnMc on

      Yep, agreed. Good results against fellow Tier 1 sides mean more than official IRB rankings.
      Looking towards the Pro 12, Euro competitions, AIs and 2018 6N, we need a stronger Edinburgh to complement an already strong Glasgow; continued SRU monitoring and support for players outside the Pro 12; intelligent placement of our youngsters in the Pro 12 and beyond; and continued investment in the Academy. Things are on the up for Scottish rugby at several levels. It’s been a long time coming, and great to watch it develop.

  28. TeamCam on

    I think that, whilst today was buoying, I don’t think we’d put 50 on Japan or beat SA today. I still think we lack ruthlessness and physicality.

    • RuggersB on

      Sure.. Ireland put 50 on Japan…they also conceded 22. Decent unspectacular result.

      SA were never going to stay a poor team for very long. They are now probably on the upcycle. Will be top 3 before long id guess.
      Beating a strong Australia side in their own backyard with half a team of fringe players v winning by 28pts against a Japan side just isn’t apples to apples.

      • Crazyjoe on

        This was a fantastic result but that is not a strong Aus side. They are on a downward trajectory and can easily see them being the whipping boys in the championship

      • Alistair on

        There is nothing strong about this Wallabies side. They are awful and going to get humped by ABs.

      • TeamCam on

        When was the last time we put 50 on anyone, though? And if you compare it to our results in Japan last year…

      • RuggersB on

        Yeah and maybe Japan have regressed further. Jones had them playing well…. but they don’t appear to be at the same level now as they were then.

        With world class players like Hooper and Folau its hardly a poor Aus side. They have partly dropped off ranking because of NH have lifted their game… England, Ireland and now Scotland appear to be jumping up in performance levels. They finished 2nd in the recent Rugby Championship. As for how they would fair against NZ ….the All Blacks are hammering everyone.

        Don’t negate an excellent performance and result by Scotland away from home.(..note that Fatland!) If the All Blacks had scored that 3rd try we scored …they would have been proud of it.

  29. SlowWalk90 on

    I think one element of progression that we saw from Gregor in this game was a focus on the “finishers” off the bench. You could make a solid argument that the team that finished the game was stronger than the one that finished it. I don’t remember that ever being the case.

    Too often in the past (especially against Australia) we’ve lost it in the last quarter, partly because the opposition bench have swayed the balance. Hopefully with the increasing strength in depth this is becoming a thing of the past for Scotland.

  30. Alistair on

    Yesterday I enjoyed the most splendid of winter days in Sydney watching the match live at the stadium. Good atmosphere and some exciting rugby, despite the many errors from both sides.

    Main take away from the match – this was not some pluck underdog victory. We won because we are a better rugby team. This might not be the historical position, but Scottish rugby is on a positive high and the wallabies are at a real low. For now, we are the better side and it will be some time before I’d wish trading places with them. Several of my Aussie mates pointed out that it was three tries each and we had an intercept and charge down. But they all agreed that our third try was the best bit of rugby during the 80 minutes. Looked magic from where I was.

    I was a bit upset at the selection going into this. It felt a little like development was put ahead of all out for victory – 6N success is all about winning on the road so it is key to get that mentality during these tests. Typical Toony going and achieving both aims! Finn showed today why we are all so excited, Tonks surprised (Wallabies are going to kick to Falou all season the boy is a weapon), and Price defo my starting 9. Fwds matched up well thought they didn’t get much change from ref especially at lineout. Biggest thing to work on is kicking out of our 22 we were very poor here second half. I think this is where Laidlaw can add value coming off the bench.

    • Alistair on

      P.S. just managed a whole post without mentioning the Lions once. Going to reward myself by taking the opportunity to tell Fatland to take this result and shove it up his valley sideways.

    • Doddies Trews on

      What is it with Aussies and them not considering charge downs/intercepts as proper tries?! We heard similar dross after Joubert bailed them out of the 2015 QF. If your team is playing loose enough/the opposition is switched on enough to make those situations happen, then you deserve to concede. And if those situations result happen enough that you lose a game, you are the worse rugby team on the day. Simple.

      • Alistair on

        Couldn’t agree more – you make your own luck and those first two tries were borne out of the severe pressure we put them under. The aussies also go on about number of tries scored – they are watching the wrong game its all about points on the board. I also thought we should of had another try in the first half during the Aussie yellow card incident – if advantage had been played we were getting to the kick first not sure why ref blew so quickly.

      • TeamCam on

        If they want to play the “more tries” game, maybe they should have a look at last year’s match at Murrayfield…

    • RuggersB on

      Thats big of your mates!?… ‘Several of my Aussie mates pointed out that it was three tries each and we had an intercept and charge down. But they all agreed that our third try was the best bit of rugby during the 80 minutes’

      Do they choose to forget we outscored them in Scotland 3-2 and they sneeked a 1 point win? The reason we score so many intercepts and charge downs against OZ because it is a weak point of theirs…we obviously run a high line against them and have the speed of thought to take advantage.

  31. AMW on

    Great game – although have only seen highlights. Does anyone know of a URL to get the full game on YouTube?

  32. Jimmy Bond on

    Really impressive performance by the squad. Taylor, Barclay and Russell were fantastic. Taylor took his try very, very well.

    That was Russell’s best performance. Just rewatched the game and picked up on his work-rate in defence. He is an absolute machine. His try saving tackle on Falaou was a thing of beauty. In attack he was targeted all day and brushed off massive hits with a grin on his face. A really brave and tough 10. Favourite moment was when he was taken off the ball by Hooper then gets up brushes himself down, smiles at Hooper then gives him a wee trip when he turns his back. Classic! I think (and hope!) Russell is on his way to being the best 10 ever in a Scottish shirt.

    Massive congrats to the whole pack!

    • Doddies Trews on

      The three players you mentioned were all superb. Duncan Taylor really is a special player. I have to say I really liked the Taylor-Dunbar partnership. Taylor for his all round excellence, whilst Dunbar was back to his “4th backrow” best. He’s just an absolute menace at the breakdown; not least winning the turnover in stoppage time that won us the game.

      I have a feeling that in the crunch games where we expect to be under the cosh the centres will be Dunbar-Taylor (either way around) whilst against teams where we can expect to dominate possession it will be Taylor-Jones. We have depth in centre but those are our best three for sure. I used to feel this way about Dunbar, but Taylor is the new undroppable in the midfield. “What shall we do with the Duncan Taylor” indeed.

      • RuggersB on

        Yeah I agree… Taylor has matured into a superb rugby player. Dunbar showed signs of his, pre-injury streak, ability. Hugh Jones is great to watch.. and Scott looked more like his old self too.

    • RuggersB on

      Russell is exceptionally good in defence considering he is slight of build. Excellent tackler. Which is usually a weak point of creative players. Thats why, combined with his natural ability to see space ahead of everyone else on the park, I think he has the potential to be one of, if not the , top 10 in the world at some stage.

      • SlowWalk90 on

        I think Hogg and Johnny are great, but to me there’s no doubt that Russell is our most important player, with the highest potential.

      • JohnMc on

        Wallaby fan forums and BBC HYS feature a strong mix of praise for Finn for yesterday with bewilderment that he was never picked in the original tour party. During the match itself, the Oz broadcasters (whose coverage it must be assumed Sky was using) put up a graphic of Finn’s 6N stats and were clearly impressed by them.
        Given the setting of a Test v Wallabies in Sydney, this surely was his finest performance in the blue jersey. Hope he gets on from the bench midweek and that after that gets a genuine chance to bid for a Test start or bench spot as the tour moves on. How can anyone – even Gatland- ignore the talent this lad has both in defence and attack at Test level against SH sides?

      • DesT on

        I think we need a bit of realism with Finn, to be a true great he needs to be working on his weaknesses- drop goals being one.

        His willingness to tackle could be his undoing as well, look at Jonny Wilkinson and the impact his tackling had on him.

  33. john martin on

    Re centres – Its a nice problem to have Doddies Trews.

    Although not really an option I always thought Tonks’s best position was 12.

    Jones, Taylor & Dunbar are all undroppable but perhaps Taylor’s versatility will see him start on the bench

  34. Neil on

    I thought Matt Scott when he came on had a positive impact on the game , like sharp and explosive and was punching a few holes through the defense , solid in D also

  35. Matto on

    What an excellent weekend for Scottish rugby! Very pleased that concerns about the makeshift back three were unfounded. Great effort by the U20s, things are really building and all of those involved deserve to be congratulated. We must hold this position now and then ratchet it up a notch. The annual double over the Wallabies and getting humped by the ABs by less than the Lions do would be a start. Wins over France, Wales and Italy in the 6N would be a good follow up.

  36. Big Al on

    Quite surprised to see Dunbar and Bradbury sent home for a rest? Dunbar has had a long season but you cant get a much better break than a week in Fiji with the boys! Maybe the hotel was overbooked?

    • Ross on

      Not surprised at all about Dunbar, he played well yesterday but has been needing a rest for a while. Bradbury disappointed about (why does he need a rest??). Wanted to see him have a good hit out against Fiji. Seemed like the best opportunity to let him have a run out given the abundance of talent in our back row.

      • RuggersB on

        Dunbar needs a good rest..he is getting his old form back. Bradbury is a strange one tho…. Could use the experience..I thought he was a stick-on for the Fiji match.

      • Doddies Trews on

        Agreed about Bradbury too. I don’t want to see too experimental a side against Fiji as it’s asking for trouble, but Bradbury and Grigg were two I was hoping to see in the 23, if not the XV

        As it is I’m hoping for something like:

        Reid Brown Zander
        Toolis Gray
        Barcs Strauss Watson
        Price Horne
        Visser Taylor Grigg Hoyland

        Allan Ford Nel Swinson Wilson Pyrgos Jackson Scott

  37. Mikelinds on

    I don’t think that’s too far off the mark. I suppose it’s heresy, but I would like to see a pragmatic approach to Fiji. Simple stuff up front should do the trick. Who has the whistle?

  38. Ross on

    I’ve been thinking a lot about depth, how it’s improving, and how we still have some key positions (10, 15, props) which have some big drops offs in quality after the 1st or 2nd choice.

    That’s all been said before, but maybe there is a more optimistic way of thinking about it. In those positions, it seems we’ve been missing top quality international talent for quite some time. Maybe, just maybe, having had a number of more mediocre options made us a bit complacent, unambitious (remember when we thought Weir was the answer? Or Danielli, as mentioned on the latest podcast).

    Then, all of a sudden we have a top quality player there. Like Hogg (granted, Paterson was a great player and a Scottish legend before him), Russell, R. Gray or Nel, and the drop off to the next best option becomes all the more striking. But I think that gives us focus and encourages us to do more to get more people up to their level, like moving Weir to Edinburgh for game time, switching Horne to 10, bringing promising talent like Hastings back to Scotland, and fast-tracking Zander, Statboy, Kinghorn and others. Some of that has worked, some hasn’t and some is TBC, but its positive action we may not otherwise have taken. I think that’s great.

    I admittedly say this all as a comparatively ‘new’ fan of rugby (5-10) years, who can’t directly compare now to what we had before, so i might be wrong. Just a thought…

  39. Jamie on

    If reports are true about Russell signing for Montpellier in 2018/2019 season then it’s a huge loss for Glasgow and Scotland. He’s someone we must manage well as he is crucial to how the team play now.

    • Crazyjoe on

      If he does sign for them it’ll ruin him at his age. Boring forward driven French meat grinder. At least under Vern I’d expect Montpellier to be a professional outfit because for most French sides I could see Finn getting fat and lazy given their lack of focus on fitness

      • MK on

        As his international stock rises he’s going to have offers. He will move at some stage, thats a given, and with only 2 pro teams we probably need them to mive on to develop depth. That said I would have like for him to Stay at Glasgow until 2019 world cup then seek a move after, he’ll still only be 26, plenty of time left in his career to make big bucks.

      • TeamCam on

        I think it’d be more beneficial for him to move to the AP or a SR side than the Top 14. It is surprising that the Top14 clubs seem to want to buy players who are so unsuited to their general style of play, for example Nakarawa. Unless Cotter’s intending to turn Montpellier into a swashbuckling outfit? And who would Glasgow replace Russell with?!

      • FF on

        Russell will be competing with Aaron Cruden for a starting place if he does move. Mark palmer has rubbished the news but confirms the SRU are ‘going to war’ to keep hold of him. I can’t see the point in Russell agreeing to a deal now before he’s even worked with Rennie – he’ll have plenty of offers whenever he decides to move on.

      • RuggersB on

        Would rather have seen Russell go to a top 3 Premiership side. I read that Montpellier are also signing Aaron Cruden the AB standoff prior to Barrett….so game time will be split pretty well Id imagine. Id trust Cotter more than any other coach there to have Russell in good shape.

        Is it possible that Rennie may switch Hogg to 10? Or they may see Hastings as next in line after a year backing Russell.

  40. TheSmidge on

    Managed to find 20 minute highlights on YouTube this afternoon and most that I could’ve said about the game has already been said. All in all, it’s a great time to be a Scottish rugby fan. In my lifetime, possibly the most exciting since 1990, given the potential in the team.

    On the game specifics, one thing I did notice from the highlights is that Foley’s shoulder charge on Finn was a pretty cynical, nasty play. Around 3 inches higher and it would’ve caught him on the chin, resulting in a certain red card, and probably a significant head injury. The intent was there, so surprised that there’s not been more chat around a citation (if that actually even applies in this kind of game).

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