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Scotland 15 Australia 13: Scots survive scares to record their third successive win over Australia

Scotlandwon three of four in the autumn but didn't show much that was new.

Scotland rode their luck a little but duly recorded their third successive win over Australia in front of a raucous Murrayfield full house in the second Autumn Test.

Hamish Watson and new cap Ewan Ashman scored the Scots’ tries but the Wallabies will rue a host of missed chances. Two apparent Australian tries were called back for TMO interventions in the first half.

Scotland always seemed to have the nudge in the scrum with the Wallabies props going through the wars. Even a very mixed day for the talismanic playmakers Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell wasn’t an issue in the end.

Scotland’s defence was mostly sound but for the Australian try by Rob Leota, with key turnovers when it mattered. Ashman, needed from the 11th minute after an injury to George Turner, took his crucial second half try spectacularly.

Early scare the first of many

The Scots celebrate Hamish Watson’s try,

A harum-scarum start saw play whisk from end to end as both sides tried to open at pace.

There was an early scare for the home crowd with Finn Russell’s first clearance kick charged down, but the Scots regathered in their 22 and kicked clear.

That was just the first of a series of narrow escapes in the first 40. O’Connor’s first penalty attempt after four minutes after two Scottish offences was a full-bore shank.

Scotland won an early scrum penalty but lost hooker George Turner quickly after, Ewan Ashman winning his first cap. His first throw to an attacking lineout was on the money, but Russell fumbled a routine exchange and Australia hacked it all the way down the other end.

Hogg was snared behind his own line, but as Australia tried to drive under the posts from the scrum Hamish Watson was illegally taken out.

Brilliant lineout move for the try

Scotland forced a couple of penalties to build position, and after their first maul was stopped, they got a second chance when a Wallaby went offside.

They worked a neat lineout move second time, Jamie Ritchie tapping down to Hamish Watson and the flanker being driven over easily. After a long TMO check to make sure all was well, Russell converted.

Australia rallied and should have got a try back immediately. However Hunter Paisami was over vigorous in a clearout on Watson before Tom Wright went over on the left.

The Scots continued to ride their luck when Australia broke off the back of a maul and captain Hooper stretched out to score under the posts.

But the TMO intervened after a flailing arm by prop Allan Allatatoa to the head of Matt Fagerson was spotted on in the build up. The tight-head was yellow carded, perhaps harshly.

Australia finally got on the board with a routine penalty for O’Connor, but 7-3 was a bad return for their chances.

Wallabies fight back to lead

But still a man down they finally finished a move legally after losing replacement tighthead Taniela Tupou to concussion. Off a scrum new cap Izaia Perese made ground through tackles and Rob Leota crashed over easily from second phase.

O’Connor converted and you couldn’t deny Australia deserved to lead.

The Scots came back with a thrilling move springing Sam Johnson wide on the left. But when Price was hauled down in the 22, Matt Fagerson knocked on trying to get the ball away to Van der Merwe.

A peach of a 50-22 kick by Russell put Australia deep in bother, however, added to when they lost another prop to an HIA.

After two inevitable scrum penalties, and a couple of Van der Merwe charges, the Scots finally got in. Ashman had to get airborne in the tight left corner with a Wallaby on him but he got it down superbly for a memorable debut try.

Exchange of penalties leaves Scots with an edge

It went unconverted, and O’Connor restored Australia’s lead with a penalty as the Wallabies got back to full compliment. But their scrums woes continued as they conceded another at the next one, Russell kicking the Scots back ahead.

Australia pressed again but a brilliant rip by another new cap Josh Bayliss in contact held them at bay. A thrilling Scottish breakout stalled by a loose Russell cross kick.

Despite Australia’s ferocious attempts, the Scots held out the rest of the way for victory.

Att: 67,124

Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Exeter, capt); Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Sam Johnson (Glasgow), Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester); Finn Russell (Racing 92), Ali Price (Glasgow); Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow); Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Exeter); Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow).

Replacements: Ewan Ashman (Sale) for Turner 11, Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow) for Schoeman 66, Oli Kebble (Glasgow) for Z Fagerson 66, Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh) for Skinner 62, Josh Bayliss (Bath) for Watson 72, George Horne (Glasgow) for Price 72, Adam Hastings (Gloucester) for Johnson 74, Kyle Steyn (Glasgow) for Graham 60.

Australia: Andrew Kellaway; Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia; James O’Connor, Nic White; James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa; Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda; Rob Leota, Michael Hooper (capt), Rob Valetini.

Replacements: Connal McInerney for Fainga’a 74, Angus Bell for Slipper 46, Will Skelton for Arnold 50, Pete Samu for Leota 60, Tate McDermott for Price 66, Kurtley Beale for Wright 66, Izaia Perese for Petaia 40.

Ref: Romain Poite (FFR)

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