Australian rugby season reaches new low - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australian rugby season reaches new low

22/11/2009 11:50:48 AM Comments (0)

The Wallabies' season has reached a shocking new low with a humiliating 9-8 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield.

Five-eighth Matt Giteau slumped in despair after missing with a conversion attempt two minutes into stoppage time that would have saved Australia's blushes after Ryan Cross had scored the game's only try in the 81st minute.

The stunning victory was Scotland's first over Australia since 1982, ending a painful run of 16 successive losses to the Wallabies.

"We're very disappointed. We definitely didn't come here to lose," Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom said.

"The error rate was something that really hurt us. The Scottish defence was very good and probably the key to them getting on top at the end of the match.

"But we definitely added to that. I don't think every one of our mistakes was forced."

Compounding the Wallabies's woes were suspected tour-ending injuries to key forwards Wycliff Palu and Benn Robinson.

The game had to be stopped for several minutes midway through the second half as Palu was transported from the field on a medicab with his neck in a brace after he collided heavily with Scottish forward Nick de Luca.

Robinson lasted just 17 minutes before he was forced off with a shoulder injury.

Despite the setbacks, plus the withdrawal on match eve of explosive centre Digby Ioane, Australia should have had more than enough firepower to put lowly-ranked Scotland to the sword.

But the writing was on the wall with the scores locked at 3-3 at half-time after Giteau missed a routine penalty goal attempt in the 37th minute and then also pushed a drop goal attempt wide seconds before the break.

Elsom looked to have put the Wallabies ahead when he crashed over in the 46th minute, but French referee Romain Poite ruled no try after consulting the video referee.

"I felt that I had enough pressure on the ball that it was down on the ground," Elsom said.

Australia dominated possession and territory throughout the match, but found themselves behind 6-3 when Scotland five-eighth Phil Godman landed a 57th-minute penalty goal which struck the left upright before falling over.

A drop goal four minutes from full-time to replacement pivot increased Scotland's lead to 9-3 before Cross dived over off a Giteau pass after some 20 phases of build-up from the Wallabies.

Alas, Giteau's conversion attempt from 23 metres out and about 10 in from the left-hand sideline missed to the left.

The writing may have been on the wall for the Wallabies well before that, though, with the usually reliable Giteau also pushing a routine penalty goal attempt left in the 37th minute and missing with a drop goal from in front seconds before halftime.

The Wallabies head to Cardiff on Sunday ahead of one final Test next Saturday against Wales with their hopes of completing an unbeaten tour of the UK and Ireland now in ruins.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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