Ashman's debut try helps Scotland end Wallabies' winning streak

·4-min read

Scotland replacement Ewan Ashman marked his Test debut with a superbly-taken try in a 15-13 win over Australia at Murrayfield on Sunday that ended the Wallabies' five-match winning streak.

Hamish Watson scored the only try of a first half that ended with Scotland 7-3 ahead.

Rob Leota hit back for the visitors in the 45th minute when the Wallabies were a man down.

But a see-sawing and often scrappy game swung back in Scotland's favour when substitute hooker Ashman, showing the agility of a wing, dived in at the corner on the hour.

James O'Connor's penalty nudged Australia 13-12 ahead before opposing fly-half Finn Russell responded in kind to put Scotland 15-13 in front with 12 minutes left to the delight of a capacity crowd.

Scotland saw out the game to ensure they went into next weekend's Murrayfield encounter with world champions South Africa on the back of a hard-fought success.

"How good was it to have a full Murrayfield? For me, there's no better feeling than winning here," Scotland captain Stuart Hogg told Amazon Prime.

This victory followed Scotland's 60-14 thrashing of Tonga last week.

But full-back Hogg, with games against the Springboks and Japan to come this month, added: "I said to the boys that the job's only half done.

"We're two games in with two wins, and it's about backing it up next week."

Australia captain Michael Hooper admitted: "Discipline killed us a bit."

"I don't think we executed our game plan well. We're really frustrated to not keep our momentum going and be stifled by Scotland there today (Sunday), but we'll grow from that."

Scotland, following an error-strewn start by both sides, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute.

Russell kicked a penalty for an attacking line-out, a decision vindicated when flanker Watson was driven over for a try.

Following a video review for a possible obstruction, veteran French official Romain Poite, in his last Test as a referee, awarded the try and Russell succeeded with a tough conversion.

- Hooper denied -

Australia thought they had scored a try 14 minutes later when Hooper forced his way over from a close-range ruck.

But, following another lengthy review, the flanker's effort was disallowed for an illegal clear-out by Allan Alaalatoa, with the prop shown a yellow card by Poite.

Despite being down to 14 men, Australia scored next through an O'Connor penalty as Izaia Perese replaced injured wing Jordan Petaia.

Australia replacement prop, Taniela Tupou, went off early in the second half for a head injury assessment after a collision with Scotland centre Sam Johnson.

Despite the disruption, and still a man down, the Wallabies went ahead with blindside flanker Leota picking an excellent line for a try off a good carry from Perese.

O'Connor converted and Australia led 10-7.

Moments later, with Australia back to 15 men, Scotland No. 8 Matt Fagerson spilt the ball in contact yards from the Wallaby line.

Russell, however, gave Scotland a close range attacking line-out as he took advantage of the new 50-22 rule with a well-judged kick from inside his own half that bounced into touch.

The ball was spread wide only for Australia scrum-half Nic White to make a try-saving tackle on left wing Duhan van der Merwe before Hogg's loose pass was intercepted.

But the Wallabies had infringed. Scotland took a scrum from the penalty.

Following the set-piece Ashman dived in at the left corner for an acrobatic try.

Russell couldn't convert but Scotland led 12-10.

O'Connor punished Russell's miss with a 35-metre penalty that made it 13-12 to the Wallabies.

Kurtley Beale was then brought on by Australia coach Davie Rennie, formerly in charge of Scottish club Glasgow, for the veteran utility back's first cap since the 2019 World Cup.

But he could do nothing as Russell kicked Scotland into a two-point lead.

Australia face a quick turnaround as they play England at Twickenham on Saturday.


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