Australia 35 – 34 Scotland
What a bizarre game.
Australia scored five tries, and were within 90 seconds of losing.
Bernard Foley had a lousy game with his goal kicking, and yet kicked the winning penalty at the death.
There was so much awful about Australia, which is to take nothing away from the Scots who contested for ever, scavenging points including tries from a charge down and an intercept.
Michael Cheika’s famed scrum was a rabble, leaking penalties and being pushed back. Only the lineout drive was pure profit, and forgive me for yawning. That’s a merchant banking mentality, not a beating rugby heart. How much they missed Pocock’s pinching and Folau’s penetration.
Was this their wake-up call, or was it the exposing of their limitations? Yes, Foley left plenty of points on the park, which could have and should have put the game out of reach much earlier. But it’s how you react, and the decisions you make, when the kicking is off that describe your rugby character.
And on that test, Australia have grievous frailties. Too often one-dimensional in the attack, losing oxygen in the brain in the latter minutes, without impact from the bench.
Scotland deserved to win because they played like they wanted it only and everything. Australia were like clerks, ticking forms according to a head office procedure. No passion. No consideration of the unique.
Not just winning ugly, but winning embarrassed.