Watson and Ashman break through, Russel signs us: Scotland beats Australia 15-13

In Murrayfield, a splendid goal for the debutant hooker, then the opening decides the challenge with a placed 10 minutes from the end. Meanwhile, in Verona, Romania beats a modest Uruguay 29-14, the next opponent of Italy A and the senior national team

At the end of a beautiful, hard-fought and thrilling match, Scotland defeated Australia 15-13 at Murrayfield in the match that completed the second international weekend dedicated to the Autumn Nations Series. In a week’s time, Scotland will host reigning world champions South Africa, while Australia will be in Twickenham to take on England.

Newcomer

It starts without too many preambles and the center Len Ikitau pierces the Scottish defense, only to see his offload dirty with a fingernail. Then Sam Skinner enters the ruck incorrectly and gives the free kick to the Australians, but James O’Connor wastes it, missing the posts from a good position. At fifteen minutes, starting from a standstill, Stuart Hogg breaks two tackles, passes between two Australians and breaks through on the left, then launches Duhan van Der Merwe on which, however, a foul closure of the Australians arrives: the Scots choose to go in touch, but then they lose the ball. After risking to suffer a try, avoided with a great defense under the goalposts, at 21 ‘they replicate the previous choice: free kick in the 22, touch kick at 5 meters, possession this time maintained, unstoppable maul and dive into the goal of the flanker Hamish Watson (with Finn Russell who also slips the difficult transformation). Australia goes for the goal in the 36th minute with Michael Hooper, who collects a ball in a ruck under the goalposts and then stretches out to crush, but the Tmo and the referee cancel for the foolishness of the prop Allan Allaalatoa, who to clean the grouping goes with the right arm to hit (in a not excessive way, but the gesture is indisputable) the face of the Scottish number 8 Matt Fagerson. “Are you serious?”, Hooper asks referee Romain Poite, who replies: “I realize it’s a difficult call, but it’s not me who hit the Scot, but your partner.” Allaalatoa also collects the yellow card. The Wallabies, however, manage to earn a free kick in attack and this time O’Connor is not wrong for the 3-7 on which it goes to rest. Australia even finds the goal in inferiority in the opening of the second half, with the decisive break provided by the rookie Izaia Perese and then with the flanker Rob Leota, who sprints and breaks through triggered by a splendid fast and flat ball by Nic White (and O ‘Connor transforms). But in the 59th minute at the end of a very long phase in the 22, after a series of attacks always thwarted by the Australian indiscipline, the situation was resolved by a magnificent athletic gesture by rookie Ewan Ashman: the hooker (who took over from the injured George Turner) receives wide right from the unthinkable fast and precise hands of prop James Slipper and with a superb dive to the flag, despite Perese’s desperate tackle, manages to crush before being pushed out (Russell misses the transformation). A goal that would have been beautiful already if it was the result of an opening-wing combination, let alone if it is a prop and a hooker to achieve it. But two minutes pass and O’Connor’s free-kick brings Australia back 13-12, but Russell responds in the 69th minute. At 79 ‘the Australian infringement in a ruck in the middle of the field gives the last possession to the hosts, who can go and play it with a touchdown near the 22 Australians, the possession is maintained, the clock turns red, George Horn la kicks out and Scotland’s win.

The others

In the match that most interested Italy, Uruguay (coached by the Argentine Esteban Meneses, who passed as a player also in Italy with Calvisano and Alghero), very fresh from qualifying for the 2021 World Cup and next opponent of the Azzurri, was defeated for 29-14 from Romania to Verona (where the match was diverted following the difficult Covid situation in Bucharest). Los Teros found themselves immediately below after just a minute for Florian Rosu’s goal, but then, with 3 kicks from Federico Favaro and the beautiful goal resulting from a collective game and scored by the extreme Rodrigo Silva, they managed to close the first time ahead for 14-13. In the second, however, Romania went ahead with the goal of Hinckley Vaovasa and then with 3 placed they dug the decisive break. Uruguay sought the goal until the end, but after gaining advantage and punishment with a nice possession, from the penaltouche to 5 meters they lost the oval and the last chance. Uruguay who will continue to train in Parma, which he has chosen as a base for his European tour: next Saturday in Padua he will challenge Italy A and on the 20th in Parma he will face the senior national team of Kieran Crowley. Today’s game was played at a much lower pace than what is seen internationally in matches with tier-1 teams: for Alessandro Troncon’s “A” next Sunday it will be necessary and mandatory to cancel the horrible performance of two weeks ago in Madrid (very painful victory over Spain), assuming that the players decide to take the field with desire, self-denial, attention and humility. Because then, Uruguay seen today, does not appear to be absolutely able to worry the senior national team seen playing with good intensity yesterday with the All Blacks. A try by Manuel Cardoso Pinto in the final gave Portugal the overtaking and a 20-17 victory over Canada in Oeira (Lisbon). After 4 defeats in direct confrontations, the first victory of the Portuguese over Canada came, also back from the scorching elimination from the qualifying path for the World Cup (he had been present in all previous editions of the world championship). In Madrid, Fiji defeated Spain 41-13, who will host Russia next Sunday for a pivotal match on the road to qualification for France 2023.

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Watson and Ashman break through, Russel signs us: Scotland beats Australia 15-13

The Inside News Hyderabad