Five things we learnt from Wallabies vs Scotland

Mon, 08/11/2021, 02:32 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
It was a tense battle at Murrayfield in Edinburgh

The Wallabies failed to capitalise on some golden opportunities as they went down 15-13 to Scotland.

Despite crossing the line four times, the side only came away with a singular Rob Leota try as the hosts held on for a thrilling victory.

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So what did we learn from the Wallabies first defeat in six games?

1. Wasteful Wallabies

In the first and final 20 minutes of the game, the Wallabies were their worse enemy as they failed to take advantage of some golden opportunities.

Despite multiple attacking chances on Scotland's goal-line, a lack of cohesion and execution came back to haunt them as they were penalised three times on the attack.

With the game still on the line, they were caught in possession several times in the wrong area of the field, something which coach Dave Rennie expressed his disappointment after the game.

With three minutes to go after a rare scrum penalty, James O'Connor failed to find the line with the resulting kick, allowing Scotland to take out the win.

2. Mixed set-piece night

Speaking on the scrum, this was an area where the Wallabies never really established themselves despite shining at lineout time.

Much of this can be put down to the chaos at the tight-head position during the second half, with James Slipper forced to make the switch as Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa went off for HIA within a ten minute period.

This contributed to four penalties conceded by the Wallabies pack, however, they will take confidence out of a nice effort in the 76th minute.

Along with this, they were a perfect 13/13 at lineout time along with a great steal from Izack Rodda.

3. That yellow card

It will be the talking point of the game and will be argued for the remainder of the week as Allan Alaalatoa was sin-binned for a high cleanout on Matt Fagerson.

The blow was a glancing shot that ultimately led to a crucial try to Michael Hooper being brought back.

By the letter of the law, the decision to sin bin Alaalatoa was the right one as World Rugby looks to crack down on high contact.

However, what will frustrate fans is you could probably find similar levels of high contact in most phases of attack. Case in point: the contact on Rodda in the tackle that preceded the cleanout.

The irony is the 10 minute yellow card period saw the majority of the Wallabies' points (10 of their 13) scored.

4. Perese power

Izaia Perese's incredible 2021 continues after a strong performance from the bench.

Coming on for an injured Jordan Petaia, Perese made an immediate impact as he burst through from a lineout play.

A phase later, Nic White's flat pass found Rob Leota who crashed through the line for the lone try for the visitors.

He produced a try-saving tackle minutes later as the Wallabies defence fought valiantly to hang on to the lead.

With Rennie conceding Petaia will likely miss the game on Saturday with a hamstring injury, the Waratahs centre made a serious push for selection somewhere in the backline.

5. Walking the line

A little bit of niggle is fine but when it starts costing yourself points and giving the other side chances, it needs to be controlled.

On three occasions, the Wallabies shot themselves in the foot with some soft penalties for off the ball incidents.

It started in the tenth minute as Allan Alaalatoa was pinged for wresting after the play, giving Scotland the ball in Australia's half.

This was followed 20 minutes later as Hunter Paisami's late and continual cleanout on Russell saw a try for Tom Wright brought back, although a dubious final pass likely ruled the five-pointer out anyways.

To wrap it up, Wright stopping a quick lineout move saw the Scots given an easy penalty, putting a dimmer to an otherwise great defensive performance from the winger.

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