'We got lucky' says Genia

2015-10-19 08:33
Will Genia (Gallo)

London - Australia scrumhalf Will Genia admitted his team was lucky to "scrounge" a penalty in the dying moments to knock Scotland out of the Rugby World Cup on Sunday and advance to a semi-final against Argentina.

Replaced by Nick Phipps with 10 minutes to go, Genia was forced to watch the dramatic finale from the bench. But he said he could not even bear to look as team mate Bernard Foley, who had earlier missed three conversions, strode up to take the decisive penalty after a controversial offside decision against Scotland that prompted the Twickenham crowd to erupt in a deafening chorus of boos.

"Obviously (we were) kind of a little bit out of the game with a couple of minutes to go and to somehow sort of scrounge a penalty to give us an opportunity to get the win and for Foles to knock it over was pretty special," Genia told reporters.

"I put my head down and just thought 'If I hear a really loud cheer he's missed, if I hear a little bit of a cheer he's got it, so I was real grateful it was a little bit of a cheer."

In a tense, enthralling contest where the lead changed hands five times, Scotland had seemed set for their first World Cup semi-final since 1991 until Foley's kick snatched back the lead to set up a 35-34 win.

"I don't know how to feel - just relieved more than anything else," Genia said, paying generous tribute to his Scottish opponents.

"They played so well that first half, they maintained possession, they built momentum in our 22 and obviously came away with points pretty much the whole time," he said.

"You've got to give credit to them and they pretty much were a whisker away from being in the semi-final. So we got lucky this time and we're really grateful obviously for another week being in."

Genia said he had congratulated the disconsolate Scottish players and coaches after the game and saved a special word for his opposite number, captain Greig Laidlaw.

"I said it was a pleasure to play against you, you're an incredible player and you're an inspirational leader for your team, and thanks for the game."

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