Scottish skipper Ross Ford wants to get used to the taste of victory after finally leading his team to a win in Australia.
The 9-6 triumph at rain soaked Newcastle was the 2009 British & Irish Lions hooker’s first win in six attempts since taking over the captaincy and was a triumph that not only ended a seven game losing streak for his side, but also gave them their first win on Aussie soil since 1982.
Match winner Greig Laidlaw, who slotted his side’s only penalty attempt of the second half from 22 metres in the 82nd minute, said the pressure on him had been “greater than with any other kick I’ve had”, but dedicated it to Ford and his fellow forwards who had earned the chance.
“It was a kick for the guys in the scrum. They earned it, I just kicked it,” said Laidlaw, who got his chance after South African referee Jaco Peyper had penalised the Wallaby front row for collapsing at the final put-in of the game.
“When you look back on that game you will think about the defence, rather than the kick. That was what won us the game.
“I was slightly worried about the weather because it had been pretty messy all night. The wind was really difficult to read and kick into, but I just told myself to trust in my technique and everything will be alright.”
He did and it was! Having kicked two out of three penalties with the 80kph wind and driving rain at his back, Laidlaw had Ross Rennie’s single finger holding the ball for him as he ran up to give Scottish rugby a major shot in the arm.
“Ross has done that all season for us at Edinburgh and I had total confidence in him when he ran up to take the kick,” said Ford.
“We worked hard to get that one chance to score in the second half and we deserved that win for all the effort we put in. Our discipline was fantastic and that was key in not giving away any penalties.
“You always think the win you want is going to come in the next game, but to get my first victory as Scottish captain against the Wallabies in Australia is pretty special – it’s right up there with the best wins of my career.”
Scottish coach Andy Robinson claimed it was a victory for the hard work the players and his coaching team had put in during the build up to the game, as well as on the field on the night.
“There is a real belief in this team. There has never, ever been a problem with the team spirit and you saw tonight how hard they worked for each other,” said Robinson.
“It has been tough for the fans and the players through the recent run of defeats. We have got ourselves into good positions in matches before, but not converted them into wins. They fully deserved what ty got out of the game tonight.”
Ford will lead his team to Fiji and Samoa to complete their three Test assignment this summer. Both teams won theri Pacific Rim Cup ties this week, Samoa pipping Tonga by two points and the Fijians topping Japan.