Sydney – The Wallabies have vowed to learn from their embarrassing and demoralising 9-6 loss to lowly Scotland as they prepare to take on fired-up Six Nations champions Wales on Saturday.
For the second year in a row, Australia suffered the indignity of losing the first game of their international season, having crashed to minnows Samoa in their opener last year.
Flyhalf Greig Laidlaw kicked a penalty in wet and windy Newcastle after the full-time siren Tuesday to give the Six Nations wooden spooners their first win in Australia for 30 years. But the Wallabies refused to make excuses.
“The conditions played a big part in the game, we had plenty of possession and we had to tick the scoreboard over and we didn't,” said scrumhalf Will Genia.
“We'll go away and we'll prepare as well as we can, it's a new Test match, it's a new game,” he added of Wales. “We'll learn from this match.”
The Welsh will be a big test for the Wallabies, having made clear they are fired up after being beaten by Australia in the bronze play-off at last year's rugby World Cup.
Australian coach Robbie Deans said his team must learn how to close out the match after a gutsy defensive display by the Scots Ä ranked 12th in the world Ä in the second half.
“We had enough possession to put the game out of reach and credit to Scotland, we just couldn't put them away,” he said.
“We started the second half really well, we had momentum and in conditions like that when you don't turn the score board over things get messier as the game goes on. We lacked co-ordination to get the job done.”
Deans added that Wednesday will be a recovery period for his bruised and battered team before they turn their attention to the first of three games against Wales, in Brisbane.
“We've got another Test match on Saturday, first thing we'll have to do is recover and look at the blokes,” he said.
“We'll select 22 for Saturday, some who would have played against Scotland. We'll have to assess how the guys pull up.”
Scotland coach Andy Robinson admitted his side were relieved the Wallabies failed to test them more in some of the worst conditions seen for a rugby game in Australia.
But he praised his team's gumption.
“It's very important for the side to show the courage that we did in defence, particularly when you turn around at half-time and it's only 6-3, it was going to have to be an amazing effort to win the game,” he said.
“Back-to-back victories for a Scottish team against Australia is immense and I'm absolutely delighted for the players and their families.”
Robinson was also in charge when the Scots secured a famous 9-8 victory over Robbie Deans' side at Murrayfield in 2009. – Sapa-AFP