Rugby World Cup
Scots poised for QFs while hosts humiliated by Wallabies
Scotland 16 South Africa 34
England 13 Australia 33
Scotland came into this match against South Africa optimistic about their chances of success on the back of rampant second half performances in their opening ties against Japan and the USA.
It was not to be, but in spite of this defeat they are expected to defeat Samoa at the weekend and make the quarter finals.
Not so the hosts. England’s loss to the Australians means they are dumped out of the tournament, prompting the usual inquests about who should take the blame and what happens next.
After four years of preparation, their exit has poured embarrassment on the English Rugby Union and left sponsors scratching their heads and checking how this will impact on their investment.
England coach Stuart Lancaster last night apologised, conceding it’s “not up to me” whether he remains in charge of the first host team in World Cup history to be knocked out of the tournament in the group stages.
Brilliant Bernard Foley inspired Australia to an emphatic 33-13 hammering of England at Twickenham to secure the Wallabies’ place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
Fly-half Foley stole the show, scoring a record 28 points – including two first-half tries – in a Wallabies masterclass that stunned the vast majority of a partisan Twickenham crowd.
Scotland’s 11 team changes suggested to some that despite their bullish pre-match approach to match with Springboks Vern Cotter was already preparing for the more easily winnable Samoa showdown. However, a QF tie with either the Welsh or Australians now awaits them.
Coming into yesterday’s match Scotland were already without the fly-half Finn Russell (ankle), the openside flanker John Hardie (head injury), alongside the rested outside centre Mark Bennett, with the loosehead prop Alasdair Dickinson and the first-choice hooker, Ross Ford, on the bench.
As in their first two matches, Scotland started slowly and only managed to put up three points in the first half before scoring their one and only try not long after the resumption.
The game was heavily dominated by the South Africans who, after their early shock defeat to Japan, have surely done enough to reinstate them as one of the tournament favourites.
Teams and scorers:
South Africa: Tries: Burger, Pietersen, Habana. Cons: Pollard 2. Pens: Pollard 4. Drop goal: Pollard.
Scotland: Try: Seymour. Con: Laidlaw. Pens: Laidlaw 2, Weir.
South Africa: W le Roux; JP Pietersen (P Lambie 71), J Kriel, D de Allende (J Serfontein 75), B Habana; H Pollard, F du Preez (R Pienaar 78); T Mtawarira (T Nyakane 61), B du Plessis (A Strauss 56), J du Plessis (F Malherbe 50), E Etzebeth, L de Jager (P-S du Toit 74), F Louw, S Burger ( W Alberts 70), D Vermeulen.
Scotland: S Hogg (S Lamont 63); T Seymour, R Vernon (P Horne 65), M Scott, T Visser, D Weir, G Laidlaw (S Hidalgo-Clyne 70); G Reid (A Dickinson 51), F Brown (R Ford 61), WP Nel (J Welsh 64), R Gray, J Gray (T Swinson 68), J Strauss (R Wilson 55), B Cowan, D Denton
England v Australia
Australia 33 (Bernard Foley 2, Matt Giteau tries; Bernard Foley 3 cons, 4 pens) England 13 (Anthony Watson try; Owen Farrell con; 2 pens)