Australia came back from 16-22 down to claim a hard fought 23-22 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
In an entertaining and hard-fought encounter, the home side dominated for large periods against a Wallaby side who battled to get going and committed a plethora of errors on attack before a late Tevita Kuridrani try, which Bernard Foley converted, secured them the result.
Scotland outscored their visitors by three tries to one with centre Huw Jones leading the way with an impressive first-half brace. Australia should actually consider themselves lucky for coming away with a positive result as they looked dead and buried until Kuridrani’s 75th minute try.
Scotland opened the scoring via a Greig Laidlaw penalty in the third minute before Australia suffered a setback two minutes later when Adam Coleman was forced to leave the field through injury.
Scotland soon increased their lead emphatic fashion when Hugh Jones gathered a Finn Russell chip kick before outpacing the cover defence to cross for a deserved try and Laidlaw’s conversion meant the hosts held a comfortable 10-0 lead.
The Wallabies didn’t take long to respomd though and a brilliant backline move in which Israel Folau, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley and Dane Haylett-Petty all handled in the build sawo Reece Hodge rounding off after beating a couple of defenders.
Bernard Foley added the extras and a 23rd minute penalty meant the scores were soon level. It didn’t take long for the hosts to respond though and once again it was Jones who crossed for a try after gliding through a gap in the Wallabies’ defence.
Laidlaw’s conversion meant the home side led 17-10 at the interval but the Walabies reduced the deficit when Foley landed a penalty early in the second half.
Five minutes later, Scotland increased their lead when Jonny Gray barged over from close quarters after Stuart Hogg did well with a strong run in the build-up.
Laidlaw’s kick struck a post – a miss which would prove crucial in the end – but Scotland had their tails up with the score at 22-13 after 50 minutes.
The Wallabies replied via a Foley penalty five minutes later, but they were dealt a blow when Will Skelton was yellow carded in the 69th minute for a shoulder charge on an opponent.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the visitors didn’t panic and five minutes before the end, Kuridrani slipped past Peter Horne to go in under the posts before Foley added the extras to secure victroy.
Tries: Jones 2, J Gray
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Tries: Kuridrani, Hodge
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley 3
Yellow card: Skelton
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Dell
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Moray Low, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 John Hardie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Rory Hughes
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Lopeti Timani, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 David Pocock, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Will Skelton, 21 Dean Mumm, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Quade Cooper
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Ian Davies (Wales)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)