Rugby World Cup: Australia hold off Scotland with 14-12 victory

Australia have registered their first win in the tournament
Australia have registered their first win in the tournament
©World Rugby

Scotland 12-14 Australia, Whangarei

Australia managed to make a second half comeback as they went on to edge out Scotland 14-12 in their Pool A clash of the Rugby World Cup in Whangarei.

This is the time second time in two games Scotland have suffered a narrow defeat after losing their first match to Wales with a 15-18.

Scotland now are languishing at the bottom of Pool A with two defeats from as many games and now will be hoping for a strong win over New Zealand to have any chance of progressing while Australia have revived their campaign with their first victory of the competition.

It took Scotland just nine minutes to start the proceedings as Lana Skeldon dived in the corner at the back of a maul and Helen Nelson, who had a disappointing outing against Wales missed out on the conversion to make it 5-0.

Scotland looked threatening as brilliance from Rhona Lloyd almost got them their second try as she went past Iliseva Batibasaga but a last gasp tackle from Lori Cramer ensured Australia's deficit remained at five points.

Australia suffered a major setback just inside the half hour mark as Adiana Talakai was found guilty of collapsing a Scotland maul as she was sin-binned. Also Scotland was awarded a penalty try to extend their lead to 12-0.

With no further breakthrough, Scotland continued to have their 12-point lead heading into the break before which they lost Chloe Rollie to a shoulder injury.

Australia pressed forward as they made huge carries from Eva Karpani but a firm defence from Scotland kept Australia scoreless until the 59th minute as Bienne Terita dived in the corner and Lori Cramer kicked the conversion. Just as Scotland maintained the lead for the most part of the game, Bienne Terita was handed a reprieve as following a high tackle on Scotland skipper Rachel Malcolm.

With the luck on her side, Terita made most of the chance as she went past a couple of defenders to send Marsters over the line making it 12-12 before Cramer kicked a conversion in the corner to put them two points ahead. Subsequent play saw Australia down to 13 players as Marsters was sent off for a dangerous tackle and then in the closing stage Talakai was sent-off after her second yellow card.

Despite being down on the numerical advantage, Australia managed to secure their two-point lead as they opened their account in the showpiece event.

Team line up:

Scotland: Chloe Rollie; Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Hannah Smith, Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson; Molly Wright, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Sarah Bonar, Rachel Malcolm (capt), Rachel McLachlan, Jade Konkel.

Reserves: Jodie Rettie, Leah Bartlett, Elliann Clarke, Lyndsay O'Donnell, Mairi McDonald, Sarah Law, Evie Wills, Shona Campbell.

Australia: Lori Cramer; Bienne Terita, Georgina Friedrichs, Sharni Williams, Maya Stewart; Arabella McKenzie, Iliseva Batibasaga; Liz Patu, Adiana Talakai, Eva Karpani, Sera Naiqama, Atasi Lafai, Emily Chancellor, Shannon Parry (captain), Grace Hamilton.

Reserves: Ashley Marsters, Emily Robinson, Bridie O'Gorman, Grace Kemp, Piper Duck, Layne Morgan, Trilleen Pomare, Pauline Piliae-Rasabale.