1. Fairytales do happen
Most of Australia struggled to watch as Bernard Foley lined up for the last-minute penalty that won the quarter-final for Australia. While that alone turned out to be the end of a riveting 80-minute novel, the game of inside centre Matt Giteau was even better. Giteau turned in a man of the match performance in his 100th Test and kicked it into touch to finish the match. His left boot has been critical for the Wallabies as well in their in-field kicking.
2. The rolling maul is a beautiful thing.
The Wallabies scored two of their tries off rolling mauls in their opening match and it proved a critical set piece play against Scotland. Stephen Moore’s decision to go for the lineout with two minutes left in the opening half led to a superb Michael Hooper try off that rolling maul. A lineout steal led to a Tevita Kuridrani try midway through the second half as well, something that has become a strength for the Wallabies.
3. MIchael Cheika was right
Cheika had been saying all week that this would be the Wallabies greatest challenge in the tournament so far and he was completely correct. Scotland played at another level to their pool play and pushed Australia, forcing errors where other teams haven’t. Australia got out of jail but that this was their most difficult assignment was super clear.
4. Australia has depth in 15
Israel Folau missed the game with an ankle injury but his replacement in Kurtley Beale more than stepped up. Beale made the most metres of any Wallaby with 54 for the match and was unflappable under the high ball. Even when the rain started pouring, the Scots were unable to force an error from Beale who continued his strong run of form.
5. Plenty of improvement left
The Wallabies’ day by day focus is going to be crucial as the prepare for Argentina. Australia’s scrum was tested by Scotland and the Argentinians will be another level again. A gruelling contest will be hard to move on from and their focus on daily improvement is the only way that they will be able to get up for that one. With David Pocock to come back into the side as well