Laidlaw keeps cool as Scotland stun Wallabies

Scotland captain Ross Ford had no hesitation in handing the ball to match-winner Greig Laidlaw before he kicked the last-gasp penalty to secure a memorable 9-6 win over Australia in Newcastle yesterday.

In atrocious conditions, Laidlaw secured Scotland’s first win over the Wallabies on their own turf in 30 years when he slotted home his kick, after the final hooter had sounded.

“He has done that all season for us, pressure games, pressure kicks — he nudges them over. I have total confidence in him,” said Ford.

The winning kick prompted celebrations from the Scotland players, who had also won their previous meeting with Australia 9-8 three years ago.

For Robinson and his team, it was the first win of the year and broke a sequence that had run to seven consecutive losses.

Robinson insisted, however, his side would not get carried away by the result, and that there was still a lot of work to do if they were to start fulfilling their potential consistently.

“I am just delighted for the players and the management who have worked so hard,” said Robinson.

“Today our plans in tough conditions worked but we are going to have to keep improving and keep working hard. I know from the Scottish boys that they are going to do that and that is why they are a delight to coach.”

Australia coach Robbie Deans admitted Scotland’s defence was the difference, though he felt his side did not test the away side’s rearguard as they should have. Laidlaw kicked all three penalties for Scotland with Mike Harris, making his debut, kicking two.

Australia scorer: Pens: Harris 2.

Scotland scorer: Pens: Laidlaw 3.

AUSTRALIA: Morahan, Tomane, A. Faingaa, Harris, Ioane, Barnes, Genia, Slipper, Moore, Palmer, Timani, Sharpe, Dennis, Pocock, Higginbotham.

Replacements: Alexander for Palmer (70), Simmons for Timani (55), Hooper for Dennis (65).

SCOTLAND: Hogg, Ansbro, De Luca, Scott, Lamont, Laidlaw, Blair, Grant, Ford, Murray, Kellock, Gray, Strokosch, Rennie, Barclay.

Replacements: Brown for Lamont (39), Cusiter for Blair (64).

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa).

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