Australia too strong for Scotland despite bans
Wallabies run out 21-15 winners against Scotland at Murrayfield
Australia’s Israel Folau is tackled by Scotland’s Duncan Weir. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Australia made light of the loss of five suspended players to run in two tries in a nervy 21-15 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.
Fullback Israel Folau and winger Chris Feauai-Sautia crossed the line for the Wallabies, who banned five players from taking part in the match following a drinking session days before their 32-15 win over Ireland last weekend.
“I’m obviously happy with the outcome,” Australia coach Ewen McKenzie said afterwards.
“It’s pretty hard to come here and play - they’ll be greedy and put pressure on. We made mistakes and didn’t take the penalties when we got them.
“We were up against it but we came through. We lacked discipline during a couple of moments in the first half when they came back into it and although we got the try, we didn’t push on.”
Man-of-the-match Folau scored the only try of the first half, scything through the Scotland defence before sprinting 20 metres to touch down.
Scotland, who lost 28-0 to South Africa last weekend following a 42-17 win over Japan, stayed in touch thanks to four penalties by scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw and trailed only 13-12 at halftime.
Feauai-Sautia barged over early in the second half but, after Australia lock Rob Simmons was sent to the sin bin for punching, Laidlaw brought the Scots back to 18-15.
Christian Lealiifano restored Australia’s six-point cushion but he missed three penalties in a tense final quarter as the Scots tried in vain to score that elusive try and win a third match in a row against the Wallabies.
“I can’t quibble with the effort - we let ourselves down with the execution,” Scotland interim coach Scott Johnson said.
“The young kids we have can only get better. I’m really pleased with the effort - I’m sick of being good losers. The character of the squad is developing. We’ll get good character in the forwards and once we get panache behind them we might scare a few teams.”
Australia lost 20-13 to England in the first test of their tour before crushing Italy 50-20 and beating Ireland.
They play Wales in the final match of the tour next weekend.