Scots will look for repeat of passion play in Aussie clash
Scotland 17 New Zealand 22
Referee Matthew Carley made more than his fair share of mistakes in Scotland's defeat to the All Blacks at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Unbelievably, he failed to show Waisake Naholo a yellow card for a mid-air tackle on Stuart Hogg and then he demurred from sending Kieran Read to the sin-bin for a professional foul when Jonny Gray drove for the line in the dying stages.
Either decision could have had a major effect on the outcome, and it left Scotland coach Gregor Townsend a deeply frustrated man.
Yet no decision was more baffling than the one Carley took when he upbraided Ali Price for inciting the crowd and screaming for the ball to be put into the lineout, the official threatening to sanction the scrum-half if he did not calm down.
Carley had no chance. Price continued to wave his arms at the crowd like an out-of-control windmill, and persisted in squawking and screaming at his forwards.
"The referee had a word with me because I was a bit over-enthusiastic, I just get caught up in the moment," he said.
It was an instructive cameo that did much to explain why Scotland were so effective against a New Zealand side clearly taken aback by the ferocity of the home forwards.
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Unlike Samoa, where the defensive lapses were around the fringes, Scotland's back-row and half-backs were so defensively watertight that all three of New Zealand's tries came out in the wide channels. It was, said Price, a night of high passions that he believes will be replicated against Australia on Saturday.
"It's easy to get yourself up for games like this because the atmosphere was unbelievable," he said. "It is nights like this you want to be involved in, and it'll be the same against Australia.
"The last time we played them in Sydney we put in a good performance and won. "
For Price, the key to beating the Wallabies again will be to maintain the intensity they displayed against the All Blacks. If Scotland can get to the last 20 minutes in contention, as they did against New Zealand before scoring a late try and just falling short in that final five minutes, then he believes they can prevail.
For Price, the desolation felt by his team-mates at the knowledge that they had let the opportunity to become the first Scotland side in 112 years to beat the All Blacks will be a major driver for Saturday's Test against the Wallabies. (© Daily Telegraph, London)