Scotland surprised at lack of Wallabies verve

BEN HORNE
Last updated 08:05 06/06/2012
Ross Rennie and Greig Laidlaw
Reuters
WE DID IT: Ross Rennie (L) and Greig Laidlaw celebrate on fulltime after Scotland toppled the Wallabies in Newcastle.

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Scotland coach Andy Robinson admitted his side were relieved the Wallabies didn't test them more with the ball, as the tourists escaped with a dramatic 9-6 victory in Newcastle.

Robinson said there was no doubt the horrendous conditions - some of the worst seen for a test match played in Australia - levelled out the contest.

However Robinson said his No.12 ranked side would have had trouble getting to a point where five-eighth Greig Laidlaw could kick a match-winning penalty after fulltime if the Wallabies had thrown more at them when they were defending their own line.

Robinson was in charge when the Scots secured their famous 9-8 victory over Robbie Deans' side at Murrayfield in 2009 and said making it back-to-back wins was a huge result for a team that finished last in the Six Nations.

"It's very important for the side to show the courage that we did in defence, particularly when you turn around at halftime and it's only 6-3, it was going to have to be an amazing effort to win the game," he said of the way Scotland hung on despite running into gale-force winds in the second half.

"Back-to-back victories for a Scottish team against Australia is immense and I'm absolutely delighted for the players and their families."

Wallabies five-eighth Berrick Barnes, who has battled along with NSW teammates at Super Rugby level this year, struggled to close the game out for Australia.

He waited until the 72nd minute to take his one and only shot at field goal and it sailed wide.

No 12 Mike Harris also failed in a couple of pressure-packed situations with the boot, albeit in trying conditions - and there could be calls for Quade Cooper to be rushed back into the Wallaby camp for the Wales series starting on Saturday.

After the '09 Murrayfield loss, and last year's defeats to Samoa and Ireland, it was another case of the Wallabies not playing to conditions and circumstances.

Robinson said he was surprised how one-dimensional the Wallabies were attacking Scotland's line.

"Obviously the way they played helped us, you can't deny that," he said.

"Those conditions are tough and sometimes by moving the ball you get concerned about the turnover that can occur.

"(But) when you've got that pressure on your line it does need the ball to be moved and that's something for all players to understand, that by shifting the focus it would have put us under a bit more pressure."

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- AAP

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