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By ARU Media Unit
The bagpipes played as the Macquarie Bank Australian Schools warmed up on a very wet and windy late afternoon for their match against Scotland Under 18s at the Edinburgh ”Watsonians” home ground.
The Australians won the toss and chose to run with the strong wind at their backs, and quickly applied pressure on the Scottish defense.
The Australian Boys were playing with great ball control, drawing early penalties from the infringing Scottish players. Fly half, Andrew Deegan kicked an early penalty goal from long range to give his side the early lead.
A familiar pattern existed from the restart with the Australian ball runners threatening the Scottish defense. The Australians were awarded another penalty in kicking range and Andrew Deegan accurately slotted the ball straight between the uprights for a 6-0 lead to Australia.
From the restart Scotland failed to make the ten meter line and from a center field scrum the Australian backs made good ground with Tepai Moeroa, Andrew Kelliher and Harry Jones looking dangerous.
As Australia looked certain to score, Magnus Bradbury, the Scottish big number eight, took out Australian half, Mitchell Short off the ball and was sent from the field with a yellow card. Once again Andrew Deegan slotted the extras and the Australians raced to a lead of 9-0.
The Scottish continued to give away penalties as the Australians played more on the front foot with dangerous runners across the park creating space. Big center, Tepai Moeroa broke a tackle about 20 meters out and raced in for the first try just right of the uprights.
Weather conditions were worsening as Andrew Deegan converted the try for Australia to lead 16-0. With driving wind and rain at their backs, the Australians continued to play dry weather Rugby and were impressing all with tremendous control.
On the back of strong forward charges, the Australian backs launched an attacking raid out wide which saw fullback, Andrew Kelliher, slice through the Scottish defensive line to score Australia’s second try just on the stroke of half time.
Andrew Deegan converted to maintain his one hundred percent success rate with the boot for Australia to lead 23-0 as the teams retreated to the warmth of the dressing rooms.
The second half started and it was now Australia’s turn to run into the strong wind and rain. Superb ball control was once again evident from Australia as they applied early pressure on Scotland.
An early penalty was awarded to Australia and Andrew Deegan continued his kicking accuracy with another kick successful and Australia extending their lead to 26-0.
Scotland, on the back of strong charges from number 8, Magnus Bradbury started to threaten the Australian defensive line but inspired tackling across the park halted Scottish progress time and again.
The Australians once again returned fire and they were awarded another penalty within kicking range. Andrew Deegan had previously been replaced after a fine match and his replacement, Mitchell Third, kicked the penalty goal for Australia to lead 29-0.
From the restart, Scotland managed a turn over from the Australians and threatened the line on several occasions with strong runs. They were finally rewarded with the last try of the match when the impressive number 8, Magnus Bradbury beat a tackle to score wide out and a well- deserved try.
The try was not converted and the Australians held out for their first test win on tour to run out worthy winners 29-5.
The squad now looks forward to the final leg of the tour in Ireland and three more tough matches on the road in Dublin, Belfast and Limerick.
Macquarie Bank Australian Schools, 29 (Tries – Tepai Moeroa, Andrew Kelliher, Penalty Goals – Andrew Deegan x 4, Mitchell Third 1, Conversions – Andrew Deegan x 2) defeated Scotland Under 18s, 5 (Try – Magnus Bradbury)