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Solid Scottish mudpack leaves Wallabies bearing

Date

Greg Growden

Australia 6 Scotland 9

Sludge match  ... Sitaleki Timani is wrestled to the ground on a sodden night in Newcastle  dominated by endless forward ...

Sludge match ... Sitaleki Timani is wrestled to the ground on a sodden night in Newcastle dominated by endless forward runs. Scotland's pack held its own to win a last-minute penalty. Photo: Steve Christo

SCOTLAND succeeded in humiliating the Wallabies for the second time in three seasons when they smacked them in the slosh with a last-minute penalty goal enabling them to win in atrocious conditions in Newcastle last night.

MATCH STATS

The International Rugby Board 12th-ranked team, who had a dreadful Six Nations tournament, succeeded in making the Wallabies look second rate - and with it suffer yet another appalling start to their international season.

Triumph ... Scotland celebrates after the full-time whistle.

Triumph ... Scotland celebrates after the full-time whistle. Photo: Ryan Osland

As with Samoa last year, the Wallabies were all at sea in their first Test of the year, and wasted numerous good opportunities in the second half to put the visitors away. And to just rub it all in, they then had to experience the Scottish five-eighth Greig Laidlaw kick a penalty in the last minute, after the Wallabies scrum was penalised for collapsing, to win them the Test - prompting scenes of ecstasy among the tourists.

The Wallabies decided to make it even more excruciating for themselves by opting to run into the gale during the first half. Australia won the toss, and you would assume a sane team would try to take advantage of a wild breeze while it was there and stack the points up early. But no, the Wallabies are clearly masochists and love the wet whipping them in the face.

Not surprisingly they spent virtually all of the half perched in their own quarter, and were forced to repel endless Scottish charges. That they prevented the Scots scoring a try before the break was admirable, but the Wallabies didn't help themselves in the opening quarter by trying to kick themselves out of trouble. They soon realised this was a silly option especially when some of their kicks started ballooning back towards them. A pow wow was required and the Wallabies thankfully used their brains and realised that if they were to win this game they had to tough off the first half, not be silly, and play relentless pick and drive football to run down the clock. For the second quarter, they worked this tactic to good effect, to eventually find themselves in a foreign part of the field - the Scottish half. They even somehow got close enough to the try line to have a kick at goal - with new centre Mike Harris having to bash the ball like Don Clarke to get it over the crossbar just 20 metres away. It was understandable that considering the Scots dominated the first-half territory they had three chances at goal, two successful, to take a 6-3 half-time lead. That wasn't enough of a lead to make the Scots feel comfortable.

Brick wall ... Scott Higginbottom is stopped in his tracks.

Brick wall ... Scott Higginbottom is stopped in his tracks. Photo: Ryan Osland

Nonetheless these were perfect conditions for them - a bit like a balmy evening on Loch Ness - cutting rain, and a hurricane-force wind blowing down the ground. You were almost expecting Hamish Macbeth to emerge from the mist. And you also have to credit the frontier spirit of many Novacastrians who braved these ridiculous conditions, defying the elements to sit out in the open, ignoring the dangers of drowning and hypothermia to cheer on the Wallabies. Madness maybe, but admirable madness.

At least the Wallabies tried to keep their head in the second half. They played field position and eventually the points came. They levelled the scores in the 43rd minute with a Harris penalty, and should have taken the lead 12 minutes later when second-rower Rob Simmons, who had just come onto the field for Sitaleki Timani, found the line. However the video referee could not determine whether Simmons had scored and it was disallowed.

Then followed countless minutes of hard toil, made even harder for the Wallabies by the tenacity of the Scotland scrum. The Scottish pack refused to give the Wallabies anything, and enabled the visitors to show greater resolve than they did in their dismal Six Nations campaign.

Australia V Scotland at rain soaked Hunter Stadium in Newcastle. Click for more photos

Wallabies v Scotland, June 5th, 2012

Scotland must have walked out onto a rain and wind lashed Hunter Stadium in Newcastle and thought they were right at home! In a low-scoring and often torrid affair, the Scots endured some heavy pressure but eventually prevailed with a last minute penalty goal to down the Wallabies 9-6 in their first hit-out for 2012. Up next, the 6 Nations Champions Wales. All pictures by Steve Christo and the Newcastle Herald. Selected images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers

They also succeeded in thwarting the Wallabies at the breakdown, several times winning possession by effectively tackling them and keeping them up at the maul.

And then several long kicks by the Wallabies didn't work, enabling Scotland to sneak back down the field and salvage what was an admirable victory.

SCOTLAND 9 (Greig Laidlaw 3 pens) bt AUSTRALIA 6 (Michael Harris 2 pens) at Hunter Stadium. Referee: Jaco Peyper. Crowd: 20,088.

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BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
BRU 0vs HUR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 0vs Jagu 0 04:00FSS
Sunw 0vs LIO 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CRU 0vs CHF 0 17:35AMI
WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
FOR 0vs REB 0 21:50nib Stadium
Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
King 0vs SHA 0 00:00NMBS
STO 0vs BUL 0 02:05DHL Newlands
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Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 0vs BLU 0 17:35AMI
BRU 0vs WAR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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CHF 0vs LIO 0 15:15FMG Stadium Waikato
HIG 0vs HUR 0 17:35FBS
RED 0vs FOR 0 19:40SS
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BUL 0vs REB 0 00:00Loftu
CHT 0vs STO 0 02:05FSS
SHA 0vs Jagu 0 04:10GpKP
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Round 3
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 0vs HUR 0 17:35EP
FOR 0vs BRU 0 22:05nib Stadium
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HIG 0vs LIO 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs RED 0 19:40AAMI
Sunw 0vs CHT 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
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King 0vs CHF 0 00:00NMBS
STO 0vs SHA 0 02:05DHL Newlands
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Round 4
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 0vs FOR 0 17:35Central Energy Trust Arena
WAR 0vs HIG 0 19:40AS
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 0vs SHA 0 04:00Loftu
Sunw 0vs REB 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CRU 0vs King 0 17:35AMI
RED 0vs BLU 0 19:40SS
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
LIO 0vs CHT 0 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO 0vs BRU 0 04:10DHL Newlands
Jagu 0vs CHF 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 5
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 0vs King 0 17:35WS
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 0vs FOR 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
REB 0vs HIG 0 19:40AAMI
Sunw 0vs BUL 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 0vs BRU 0 00:00FSS
SHA 0vs CRU 0 02:05GpKP
Jagu 0vs STO 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
RED 0vs WAR 0 16:05SS
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Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
HIG 0vs FOR 0 17:35FBS
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BRU 0vs CHF 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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King 0vs Sunw 0 02:05NMBS
BUL 0vs CHT 0 03:10Loftu
WAR 0vs REB 0 16:05AS
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Round 7
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 0vs BLU 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
FOR 0vs CRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STO 0vs Sunw 0 03:00DHL Newlands
HUR 0vs Jagu 0 17:35WS
RED 0vs HIG 0 19:40SS
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs LIO 0 01:05GpKP
King 0vs BUL 0 03:10NMBS
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Round 8
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35AMI
REB 0vs HUR 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
CHT 0vs Sunw 0 03:00FSS
BLU 0vs SHA 0 17:35EP
WAR 0vs BRU 0 19:40AS
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs RED 0 01:05Loftu
LIO 0vs STO 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 9
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs SHA 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs CHT 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
Sunw 0vs Jagu 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
HUR 0vs CHF 0 17:35WS
FOR 0vs WAR 0 19:40nib Stadium
STO 0vs RED 0 23:00DHL Newlands
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
King 0vs LIO 0 01:05NMBS
BRU 0vs CRU 0 16:05GIO Stadium
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Round 10
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 0vs SHA 0 17:35Yarro
FOR 0vs BUL 0 21:05nib Stadium
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs BRU 0 15:15Rugby Park
BLU 0vs REB 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs CHT 0 19:40SS
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LIO 0vs HUR 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO 0vs WAR 0 03:10DHL Newlands
Jagu 0vs King 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 11
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs RED 0 17:35AMI
BRU 0vs BUL 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
Sunw 0vs FOR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CHF 0vs HIG 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
WAR 0vs CHT 0 19:40AS
SHA 0vs HUR 0 23:00GpKP
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
King 0vs BLU 0 01:05NMBS
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Round 12
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs CRU 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs BRU 0 19:40AAMI
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HUR 0vs RED 0 17:35WS
WAR 0vs BUL 0 19:40AS
Sunw 0vs STO 0 21:45Singapore National Stadium
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CHT 0vs King 0 01:05FSS
LIO 0vs BLU 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
Jagu 0vs SHA 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 13
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs WAR 0 17:35AMI
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
RED 0vs Sunw 0 15:05SS
CHF 0vs REB 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
FOR 0vs BLU 0 19:40nib Stadium
LIO 0vs Jagu 0 23:00Emirates Airlines Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs King 0 01:05GpKP
BUL 0vs STO 0 03:10Loftu
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Round 14
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35WS
WAR 0vs CHF 0 19:40AS
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
King 0vs Jagu 0 03:00NMBS
BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
BRU 0vs Sunw 0 19:40GIO Stadium
STO 0vs CHT 0 23:00DHL Newlands
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs LIO 0 01:05Loftu
REB 0vs FOR 0 16:05AAMI
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Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
CHF 0vs CRU 0 17:35ANZ National Stadium, Suva
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HUR 0vs BLU 0 17:35WS
REB 0vs STO 0 19:40AAMI
CHT 0vs FOR 0 23:00FSS
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King 0vs HIG 0 03:10NMBS
Jagu 0vs BUL 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
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CRU 0vs REB 0 17:35AMI
WAR 0vs HUR 0 19:40AS
FOR 0vs STO 0 21:45nib Stadium
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BUL 0vs Sunw 0 01:05Loftu
SHA 0vs CHT 0 03:10GpKP
Jagu 0vs HIG 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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BLU 0vs WAR 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs REB 0 19:40SS
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SHA 0vs Sunw 0 03:00GpKP
CRU 0vs HUR 0 15:15AMI
HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35FBS
BRU 0vs FOR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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STO 0vs King 0 01:05DHL Newlands
CHT 0vs BUL 0 03:10FSS
Jagu 0vs LIO 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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