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
"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
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."