I’ve written this post straight after the game while the pain is still raw and untempered, and I’m trying to work out if that’s the worst I’ve seen the Wallabies play. I suspect it is. We’ll post a more balanced review later.
That we still had a chance to win with the last kick is perhaps a measure of how “outclassed” these Scots were, completely lacking the ability to break our line with their only territory coming from the plethora of Wallaby mistakes.
That’s not to take away from an immense defensive effort from the Scots, they could not have defended their line more ferociously if William Wallace himself was at blindside. They played a tight game which was calculated to deliver them a victory, and that’s exactly what eventuated.
While the Wallabies were appalling in most facets of the game, it would be harsh to write them all off as Cliffy Palu, Peter Hynes and Adam Ashley-Cooper had very games, while JOC’s single touch nearly won us the game outright.
Wallaby injuries were devastating too, with a suspected ACL injury to Benn Robinson, and our thoughts are with Cliffy Palu who left the field on a stretcher with a suspected neck injury.
Such was the imbalance in these two teams that had we taken the points on offer to us the final score would have been 38-9 ! With just 32% possession and missing 24 tackles the Scots prevented the Wallabies from grounding the ball in 80 minutes.
Stephen Moore pioneered a unique way to not score by diving over the line on his back into the waiting Scottish defense. He then just lay there on top of them like an upside down turtle until the ref blew the whistle. So unsuccessful was this move that Rocky Elsom repeated the back first dive 20 minutes later, reproducing the disappointing result.
Quade Cooper built on his poor kicking game by butchering the most golden of try scoring opportunities – a 2 man overlap with half a field width of space and 5 metres to the line by throwing a massive cutout and clearly forward pass.
In total the Wallabies were turned over 22 times with 14 handling errors, while 40 odd visits to the Scottish 22 resulted in no points being added. Perhaps most telling of all was the scoreboard, where despite dominating every possible metric we scored just 3 points in 80 minutes.
So piss poor was this Wallaby performance that as the clock ticked to the 80th minute and our forwards picked and drived at the Scottish tryline, they were determined not to give the backs another opportunity to butcher it despite Burgess screaming for the ball. After 15 phases Burgo intercepted a short ball to fire it out to Cross who didn’t fuck up, making the score 8-9 at full time, with a kick to come.
Giteau was probably the worst on field, with very poor kicking from right in front and an unfathomable drop goal option, that also missed. Despite all this he had a final chance to save the match with a kick after full time, but it what was no surprise to any masochistic Wallabies supporters still enduring the torture he missed.
Perhaps a more fitting end would have been for the Scots to charge down his kick, they somehow still had enough energy to send out four runners and were very close to denying it.
Congratulations Scotland for a famous victory, your first over Australia since 1982.