The Australians gave away two tries and could not make up the leeway despite dominating territory and possession to go down 24-19 to the resilient Scots in
The loss will have ramifications with an imminent slump to sixth in the next world rankings – behind
The Scottish defeat comes against the backdrop of a demoralising Super Rugby season for Australian teams and the negativity over the drawn-out Sanzaar saga to cull three teams from next year’s competition.
Cheika has signalled changes following the chastening defeat for the next Test against Six Nations strugglers
“I’d say so, I’d say there’d be a few,” Cheika told reporters after Saturday’s loss. “It’s about being more urgent to the game, you’ve got to make it happen – it’s not just going to happen for you.
“You’ve got to have guys with that attitude. You eliminate all the excuses, and you just stay at it and make the team come there.”
Cheika, who cut a frustrated figure watching the game from the coach’s box in the stands, said the Wallabies were “half-a-yard away all match”.
Compounding the loss was the Wallabies’ self-inflicted wounds during a dreadful opening half. The Scots led 17-12 at halftime with both their tries coming off Australian mistakes.
Centre Duncan Taylor swooped on a poor Will Genia pass and flyhalf Finn Russell charged down Genia’s clearing kick for another try.
Only two tries from Israel Folau – one from a long ball from Bernard Foley and the other when the athletic fullback soared spectacularly to snatch Foley’s pinpoint cross-kick – kept the Wallabies going in the first half.
Yet despite the intensity ratcheting up and
Winger Lee Jones hurdled a tackler and linked with
Skipper John Barclay said
Barclay, the 62-capped blindside flanker from Llanelli’s Scarlets, said
“It will give us confidence. You cannot deny the fact that we’ve been on the wrong side of a couple of these against the Aussies for the last couple of years, and it was nice to close one out,” Barclay told reporters after Saturday’s triumph.
“But in this year’s Six Nations, we closed out a couple of really important games, tight games against
“The important thing is that you learn from the close defeats. Everyone always talks about the Scots being brave, but I don’t think we speak enough about the skills the guys have.
“Look at the tries we’re scoring, I think it’s brilliant, and I think it’s underplayed at times.”