Monday 21 August 2017

Townsend delight as Scots edge Australia

Townsend: “If you have to defend 10 to 15 minutes against a team as brilliant in attack as that, you need strong bonds, and that is what this team has.
Townsend: “If you have to defend 10 to 15 minutes against a team as brilliant in attack as that, you need strong bonds, and that is what this team has." Image: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

Nigel Whittaker

It hasn't taken Gregor Townsend long to make his mark as Scotland's new head coach as his side backed up last week's win over Italy with a stunning victory over Michael Cheika's Australia in Sydney.

Finn Russell marked his departure to the Lions squad with a try, while Duncan Taylor and Hamish Watson also dotted down in a 24-19 win.

"The last 15 minutes are fresh in the mind and they required huge effort because the Wallabies had a lot of possession," Townsend said.

"You could see their line break when we were only five points up in our 22 with the crowd behind them. The effort to get back on the ball, and Alex Dunbar managing to get the turnover, it was fantastic.

"If you have to defend 10 to 15 minutes against a team as brilliant in attack as that, you need strong bonds, and that is what this team has. A lot is about what happens when you have not got the ball. They made the right decision in that last minute but it was a great bit of play from the Australian defence to get a turnover, then it was great play from us to get it back."

Israel Folau crossed over for a brace of first-half tries for the hosts, with Bernard Foley's conversion making it 17-12 at the break as they recovered from being 10-0 down.

Will Genia scored Australia's third midway through the second half but the visitors held on for the win.

Elsewhere, Charlie Ewels, Piers Francis and Will Collier scored their first international tries as England wrapped up a 2-0 series win over Argentina with a 35-25 victory in another breathtaking Test match.

England could only breathe easy when man of the match George Ford coolly put over a drop goal seven minutes from time, to add to his five successful kicks off the tee.

"It is a great achievement. I am very pleased for the team, I am pleased for the young players, I am pleased that they have got some more growth," said England coach Eddie Jones.

South Africa were once again far too strong for France as they ran out comfortable 37-15 winners in Durban as they continue their recovery after a horror season. After conceding an early try, the clinical Springboks built a 23-7 half-time lead, then defended brilliantly before scoring a couple of late tries.

Meanwhile, Ireland Women's Sevens team finished third at the Malemort 7s after they saw off England 26-7 in their play-off yesterday.

Ireland won all three of their games on the opening day, beating Italy 22-7, Portugal 47-7 and England 24-12 before running out 15-0 winners against Spain in their quarter-final meeting.

They came unstuck however against France (14-7) before finishing on a high against England to secure valuable series points.

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