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Monday, November 25, 2013

Wallabies reclaim third in the world spot after win over Scotland

Scotland were unable to claim another Wallaby scalp at a wet Murrayfield as they lost 21-15 on Saturday. The field, suffering from a parasite infestation, broke up a lot and has since been mentioned as a possible reason for the Scots' missed opportunities.

The Wallabies were missing a whole host of players due to injury and suspensions, but managed to score two well taken tries and hold off a determined Scotland side, who were hoping for a repeat of their famous win at the same ground in 2009.

Greig Laidlaw kicked five penalties for the hosts but they failed to cross the whitewash, and both Sean Lamont and Dave Denton have said the state of the pitch was a possible reason for that.

"Our scrum was dominant, but the pitch didn't let us do much with that," said Denton, referring to the pitch that is suffering from a parasitic worm infestation.

Winger Sean Lamont said that he was brought down late in the first half by Folau because he couldn't get much traction off the surface, which will reportedly not be fixed by the time Scotland face France and England in the Six Nations next year.

"I had the angle but you can't really step much on that pitch," said Lamont. "It's a nightmare. Of course the condition of the pitch makes a difference. You always want a firm footing. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it.

"You can see what's happening in the scrum. The boys felt we had a dominant scrum and were getting a good hit, but when it came to putting a drive on the carpet rips up. But it affects both teams, not just one side. It is disappointing, one of these unlucky things."

Coach Scott Johnson was full of praise for Israel Folau, 'a special athlete and a special player'.

"Freakish athletes like that don't come along very much," Johnson said. "We like to sit as coaches and take a lot of the credit for it but you can't put in what God left out and he stood in the front of a few genetic queues."

With the win the Wallabies have jumped back up to third on the official IRB World Rankings.

Below is a look at the two tries that the Wallabies scored. They face Wales this coming weekend.

Posted by Rugbydump at 12:50 pm | View Comments (11)

Viewing 11 comments

Dales November 25, 2013 7:56 pm

blaming the pitch is a cop-out for two important reasons:
1 - both teams played on the same pitch. If you cant play running rugby on it, neither can the other team
2 - its your own damn pitch. Its not like cricket, where you can 'doctor' the pitch to suit yourself. Its rugby. And if you cannot provide an international quality pitch, you shouldnt be hosting international matches.

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matt November 25, 2013 10:20 pm

I fully agree with your second point, but I would say that a pitch that prevents effective scrummaging (if that was the case) is definitely a benefit to Australia and probably serves to nullify Scotland's best weapon.

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Hendogo November 25, 2013 8:28 pm

Scotland is just a bad team. I don't know why there never really that good. Is rugby the major sport in Scotland, or is football more popular?

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RuggerBhoy November 25, 2013 9:09 pm

How are Scotland just a bad team? They have beaten Australia twice in three meetings, home and away. This is the first time they have lost to them since 2006! They finished third in the 6 nations last year, above France and a team that were a hair away from beating the all blacks (Ireland).

Scotland have struggled with consistency in the professional era, but have a pretty successful history before that!

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redwan_ November 25, 2013 9:11 pm

To the two comments above: Firstly, Dales, I agree with your first point, but the second is a load of nonsense. The Millennium Stadium in Wales is usually a far worse pitch than Murrayfield, which is usually one of the best in the UK, however, if you could read you would see that there is a parasitic infestation, which there is actually next to nothing you can do about in the short term. Just unlucky that its happened now.

Secondly, Hendogo, Scotland are not "just a bad team". Admittedly we do play badly on occasion, but the last two times we played Australia we won. One in Australia. What we lack is composure and consistency. It doesn't help that the SRU is run by a bunch of total idiots that couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery, although things are starting to get better now. Football is more popular, but thats irrelevant because the same goes for England and France. Scotland's biggest disadvantage comes from only having two professional teams, meaning that we don't produce the depth of talent that other countries of a similar population where rugby is bigger do. Rugby is still relatively small in Scotland, but we usually do well, all things considered. Third in the 6 Nations last year being one example. We performed terribly against SA just after having a great game against Japan (although not the highest quality of opposition) and then had a decent, but not amazing game against Oz this week.

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Facepalm November 25, 2013 9:39 pm

With every game Folau plays at fullback we get to witness the development of an incredible athlete into an incredible rugby player. Second only to Le Roux as most exciting player of the autumn.

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matt November 25, 2013 10:22 pm

Surely you aren't suggesting there is a player on the international circuit at the moment with more x-factor or excitement in his game than Joel Tompkins!?

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Facepalm November 26, 2013 8:38 pm

It's always a worrying sign when you search a player's name on youtube and it comes up with team highlights .. :{

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AJ_Capote November 28, 2013 6:26 pm

Question here, and don't accuse me of being a bitter Englishman because I'm not.

England have a strong year, loosing only 2 test matches all year. Australia have a weak year with the press savaging them for loosing 6 tests, including getting walloped by SA, NZ, and the Lions.

And yet Australia are now back at 3rd in the world?

I'm a bit confused?

I mean Guscott argued that Wales should be 3rd, but at least in their case you could say well they lost to Japan which cost them ranking points, as well as Ireland and SA, as well as their dismal record from the previous autumn.

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