Cooper stars for Wallabies

2013-11-23 22:18
Quade Cooper (Getty)

Edinburgh - Australia defeated Scotland 21-15 at Murrayfield on Saturday to put some much-needed gloss on what had been a nightmare week for the Wallabies.

Despite having almost an entire first team unavailable due to suspensions and injuries, the Wallabies scored two tries, while for the second game in a row Scotland failed to cross their opponents' line.

Flyhalf Quade Cooper was behind both Australia tries by full-back Israel Folau and winger Chris Feauai-Sautia with centre Christian Leali'ifano adding a conversion and three penalties.

All of Scotland's points came from the boot of fly-half Greig Laidlaw who kicked five penalties.

The win was the third in a row for the Wallabies, the previous two being over Italy and Ireland, after a narrow loss to England at Twickenham at the start of the tour.

They will conclude the November series of Test matches with a game against European champions Wales in Cardiff next Saturday.

The loss for Scotland, coming a week after they were outclassed 28-0 to South Africa, means they end the November Test match series with just a solitary win over Japan.

Scotland interim coach Scott Johnson responded to the drubbing his side took at the hands of the South Africa by omitting first-choice fly-half Ruaridh Jackson and star lock Richie Gray, both of whom struggled against the Springboks.

Duncan Weir joined Greig Laidlaw at half-back with Kelly Brown returning to the back row and reclaiming the captaincy from Laidlaw.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie was forced to send out a new-look backs division following the late night drinking session in Dublin ahead of the Ireland game that implicated half the squad and saw six players suspended for one match.

In front of a packed Murrayfield crowd, Australia were on the offensive from the kick-off and Leali'ifano slotted over a penalty following an infringment by lock Jim Hamilton.

Two penalties in the space of four minutes from Laidlaw gave the Scots the lead, but Leali'ifano levelled again for Australia after 22 minutes when David Denton went round the side of a ruck as the Wallabies drove for a try in the corner.

Three minutes later the tourists went ahead with the first try of the match.

Explosive full-back Folau burst through a stunned Scottish defensive line on a smart switch back pass from Cooper. It was his ninth try in 14 matches for his country.

Two more penalties from Laidlaw made it 13-12 for Australia five minutes from half-time and the Scots came within inches of going over when Johnnie Beattie picked up a loose ball on the halfway line to send Sean Maitland racing clear.

The New Zealand born full-back was brought down just short of the line, and the Australian defence held firm until the half-time whistle.

That home momentum was soon lost as the second-half got underway, the Wallabies scoring a second try.

Cooper was instrumental once again twice appearing in a sweeping attack by the backs that saw winger Feauai-Sautia tackled just short of the line before he was able to stretch over for the touchdown.

The reliable boot of Laidlaw once again kept the Scots in the match at 18-15 with Australia lock Rob Simmons sin-binned for going offside.

The Scots were unable to capitalise on being a man up despite applying some pressure and it was Leali'ifano who edged the Wallabies 21-15 ahead.

Scotland needed a converted try at the death to snatch their third straight win over Australia but despite some probing attacks they never came close.

Read more on:    quade cooper  |  rugby

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