Narrowest of margins
Heartbreak for Scots as Aussies edge victory by one point
Scotland suffered a heart-breaking 35-34 defeat in the final seconds of their quarter-final against Australia.
Bernard Foley’s penalty with 20 seconds remaining took the Wallabies into the semi-final with the Scots poised for a famous victory.
After Australia dominated the opening minutes of the tie at a packed Twickenham Scotland steadily came into the match and Greig Laidlaw’s penalties guided them to a one point lead at the break.
Scotland were dealt a big blow in the opening stages of the second half when Sean Maitland was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on.
Australia immediately scored a try and at times threatened to open an unbridgeable lead. But the Scots, playing free-flowing rugby and showing good handling, were able to stay in touch until a Tom Seymour try (pictured) put them within touching distance.
Sadly, a missed conversion from Laidlaw ultimately proved costly.
A fifth Laidlaw penalty brought Scotland back within range, and as the rain began to fall at Twickenham they created another twist in the tale when Bennett intercepted a pass and ran unchallenged under the post to draw his side level. Laidlaw’s conversion then put Vern Cotter’s side back in front.
Australia were handed a late penalty which Foley converted to give his side a dramatic one-point victory.
The result means that there will be no Northern Hemisphere teams in the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time.