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Rusty Wallabies too good for Scotland

By Glenn Cullen 13/06/2004 08:10:12 PM Comments (0)

It may have been bone dry under the Telstra Dome roof but the Wallabies proved anything but rustproof, scratching their way to a season-opening 35-15 Test win over Scotland.

With up to 14 players out with injury, Scotland was expected to provide little resistance against Australia, but the navy blue and white defended strongly only to let the home side get away with the game in the last 20 minutes.

A double to winger Lote Tuqiri and tries to Matt Giteau and Wendell Sailor proved enough for the home side in a match reminiscent of the 2003 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between the two sides.

There the Wallabies always looked likely to win but struggled to put Scotland away, particularly in the first half.

It was much the same case on Sunday afternoon.

"Lucky we got a bit of rust proofing at halftime," Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said of his side's first hit out of the year, which also enabled them to retain the Hopetoun Cup.

"We still have a lot of work to do on our set piece, the lineout, scrum and some precision running lines in attack.

"We kicked like we were playing Super 12 - we just didn't kick with any sort of precision or tactical nous." The expected blowout failed to materialise as the Wallabies struggled to find any rhythm and develop phase plays.

Stephen Larkham's general kicking was poor and the Australians were undisciplined at the breakdown, the Scots capitalising with four penalty goals to Dan Parks in the first half.

Jones' implied criticism of Sydney-raised Parks before the game seemed a little wide of the mark, the pivot looking composed for the Scots with the ball in hand as well as outpointing Larkham with the boot.

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