Grove: brave Scots can beat anyone

ALEX GROVE insists Scotland can now “beat anyone in the world” after helping them end their 27-year losing streak to Australia in just his second Test. Worcester centre Grove, who does not turn 22 until a week today, has enjoyed a dream start to international rugby, with two wins from two matches.

He could play another 200 and not experience one as dramatic as Saturday night’s incredible 9-8 victory at Murrayfield. The game saw Scotland complete one of the greatest rearguard wins in recent Test history to beat the Wallabies for the first time in the last 17 attempts.

It was also only their second success in 43 matches against one of the Tri-Nations teams and Grove believes the result proves anything is possible under Scotland’s new head coach, Andy Robinson.

“We showed we’re capable of beating anyone,” said a jubilant Grove. “Australia are a quality side and we made it very difficult for them to come and play here. It just shows that, on our day, we can beat anyone in the world.”

Scotland were penned in their own half for virtually the entire 80 minutes and, despite a magnificent defensive effort, their victory owed as much to outrageous fortune as to bloody-minded defiance.

Australia saw two tries disallowed – one after a highly controversial ruling from the video referee – and missed two more try scoring opportunities before Ryan Cross finally touched down in stoppage-time.

Faced with the match-winning conversion, Matt Giteau – who squandered two penalties and a drop goal – shanked his effort to hand Scotland the most unlikely of wins.

Acknowledging luck had played a part, Grove insisted it arrived as the result of Scotland’s hard work, including ensuring Cross did not score under the posts as well as charging down Giteau’s last-gasp kick.

“At this level, the tiny little details are so significant,” Grove said.

“The fact that they didn’t score under the posts could have been the difference between winning and losing. The wider they scored, the harder it was to get the conversion. With the pressure we put on as well and the noise the crowd were making, it was quite intimidating for him (Giteau) and he missed it – ideal.”

The triumph coming courtesy of two Phil Godman penalties and a Chris Paterson drop goal.

Scotland scorers: Pens: Godman 2. Drop Goals: Paterson.

Australia scorers: Tries: Cross. Pens: Giteau.

SCOTLAND: R. Lamont, S. Lamont, Grove, Morrison, Danielli, Godman, Cusiter, Jacobsen, Ford, Low, Hines, Kellock, Strokosch, Barclay, Beattie.

Replacements: De Luca for Morrison (40), Paterson for Danielli (63), R. Lawson for Cusiter (21), Hall for Ford (77), Traynor for Low (57), White for Strokosch (48), Vernon for Beattie (63).

AUSTRALIA: Ashley-Cooper, Hynes, Cross, Cooper, Mitchell, Giteau, Genia, Robinson, Moore, Alexander, Horwill, Chisholm, Elsom, G. Smith, Palu.

Replacements: O’Connor for Cooper (74), Burgess for Genia (63), Kepu for Robinson (17), Polota-Nau for Moore (46), Mumm for Chisholm (50), Brown for Palu (66). Not Used: Turner.

Referee: R Poite (FRFU).

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