Laidlaw nicks it

Greig Laidlaw was the toast of Scotland after keeping his cool to kick his side to a 9-6 win over Australia. [more]

Laidlaw nicks it

Greig Laidlaw was the toast of Scotland after keeping his cool to kick his side to a 9-6 win over Australia.

The Edinburgh skipper mirrored what he had done for his club in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup against Toulouse as he stepped up to knock over the match winning kick two minutes after the hooter had sounded for 80 minutes.

In normal conditions it would have been a simple effort, but in the monsoon like conditions that swampe Hunter Stadium’s first wallaby Test match made you wondered if he would reach the posts from 23 metres out.

Winds of more than 80kph gusted all night long and made goalkicking a lottery. Laidlaw hit the mark with two of his three kicks with the wind in the first half before hitting the mark at the death with his only shot in the second.

Whoever ends up coaching the Lions in Australia next year will have to pray they don’t get weather like Australia and Scotland had to suffer. The Scots travelled to Newcastle hoping to show off their new found confidence and take on the second ranked team in the world in a running game, but the weather closed in and all bets were off.

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Having gone into the break with their noses in front 6-3, Scotland were dogged in defence – they made 129 tackles to Australia’s 76 – kept their discipline, never fell off a tackle and made the most of the once chance they created as the clock ran down.

Two power scrums on the home 22 finally ended with a penalty kick and Laidlaw’s kick made it back-to-back wins over Australia for the first time since the seventies. The 2009 triumph at Murrayfield was a 9-8 victory and this was equally as big a nail-biter.

Scotland now move on to the South Seas to face Fiji and Samoa and, if they can make it three wins in a row having broken a run of seven successive defeats, they will rocket up the IRB World Rankings.

The Wallabies, who lost their opening Test in 2011 at home to Samoa, now have a quick turn around before they face Wales in Brisbane on Saturday in the opening game of their three-Test series. All their points on the night came from one of their six new caps, Queensland Reds' Mike Harris, who kicked two from four.

Australia: L Morahan; J Tomane, A Fainga’a, M Harris, D Ioane; B Barnes, W Genia; J Slipper, S Moore, D Palmer (B Alexander 70), S Timani (R Simmons 55), N Sharpe, D Dennis (M Hooper 65), S Higginbotham, D Pocock (capt).

Pens: Harris (2)

Scotland: S Hogg; S Lamont (T Brown 39), N De Luca, M Scott, J Ansbro; G Laidlaw, M Blair (C Cusiter 64), R Grant, R Ford (capt), E Murray, A Kellock, R Gray, A Strokosch, J Barclay, R Rennie.

Pens: Laidlaw (3)

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
 

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