Scotland snatch upset win over Wallabies
The weather was every bit like Murrayfield and Scotland gave the Wallabies yet another nightmare, kicking a penalty goal two minutes after the fulltime siren sounded to win 9-6 in dreadful conditions in Newcastle on Tuesday night.
The last time the two sides met in 2009, Australia were shellshocked 9-8 by Scotland in Murrayfield and, despite being warned of another ambush all week, the Wallabies were powerless to stop another embarrassment.
Robbie Deans' side was dethroned in the corresponding season-opening international by minnows Samoa in Sydney last year, and was upset by Ireland in last year's World Cup pool match.
Coach Deans said Australia didn't have it ''in their DNA'' to close out matches they're expected to win - after they were forced to watch on in horror as Scotland five-eighth Greig Laidlaw kicked the match-winning penalty and the Scots celebrated as one.
''We learnt that we weren't all on one page. We lack a bit of clarity around our direction in terms of just banking games like that and I guess it's not in our DNA,'' said Deans.
''It's an art we've got to develop.
''We had enough possession to put the game out beyond reach. But credit to Scotland. They got one opportunity in the second half and took it.
''We weren't accurate enough in closing the game out it was that simple.''
Scotland finished with the wooden spoon in the Six Nations championship and are ranked a lowly 12th in the world rankings but, as they did in Murrayfield, played perfectly to the conditions.
The Wallabies had countless second-half opportunities to break the 6-6 deadlock in the second half with a huge breeze behind them, but failed to close out.
Scotland had one chance all half after the siren, and took it - Laidlaw calmly slotting a penalty from 22 out after Wallabies prop Ben Alexander was dramatically penalised for collapsing a scrum.
After losing to Samoa last year, Australia went on to win the Tri Nations.
And Deans said the Wallabies must learn the same quick lessons if they want to trouble Wales in the first of three tests in just four days time.
''It's a similar circumstance, but something good came out of that so that'll be our intention in this instance,'' he said.
Deans said the scheduling of the match just two days after a Super Rugby weekend and four days before another test was out of his hands but denied the Wallabies had underrated the Scots.
''You're talking to the wrong bloke really. There's a lot of respect from our group. Total respect. It's a test match,'' he said.
No 12 Mike Harris endured a difficult test debut for the Wallabies.
Missing two long-range penalties which would have almost certainly given Australia the win - and kicking dead from 12 metres inside his own half at the death to present Scotland with their one chance.
Harris had a shot in the 53rd minute from halfway which fell short, and his attempt in the 75th minute from 48 metres barely got off the ground.
After ignoring chances to take shots at field goal, the Wallabies one and only attempt came in the 72nd minute through Berrick Barnes - and it sailed wide.
Barnes' failure to direct the Wallabies to victory at No 10 came amid his disappointing season at Super Rugby level with NSW.
Halfback Will Genia said the performance simply ''wasn't good enough.''
''We just have to take a hard look at ourselves. It's a very disappointing result to lose like that,'' Genia said.
''It's a learning experience and a very, very tough one at that.''
SCOTLAND 9 (Greig Laidlaw 3 pens) AUSTRALIA 6 (Michael Harris 2 pens).