Scotland were denied a famous Rugby World Cup triumph as Bernard Foley’s final-minute kick sent Australia into the semi-finals with a 35-34 victory at the Millennium Stadium this evening.
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A controversial offside call from referee Craig Joubert, when replays appeared to suggest that the ball had come off an Australian body, took the game away from Vern Cotter’s side at the death.
Foley had not had a convincing night with the boot, missing a couple of conversions and a penalty, but kept his cool to book the Wallabies a last-four meeting with Argentina next weekend.
Things looked ominous for the Scots when Adam Ashley-Cooper went over on eight minutes, but they quickly turned things around through a converted Peter Horne try and two Greig Laidlaw penalties.
Drew Mitchell and Michael Hooper, as seen below, both touched down for Australia before the break, but Foley’s failure to add the extras meant that Scotland held a narrow 16-15 advantage at half time.
Scotland were aggrieved by referee Joubert at the start as well at the end of the second half. Winger Sean Maitland was controversially sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on shortly after the restart.
And the Wallabies immediately capitalised as Mitchell went over in the corner for his 13th World Cup try. Foley added the conversion and then cancelled out Laidlaw’s penalty to put Australia 25-19 up.
But the Aussie fly-half had another error in him. His clearance was charged down by Finn Russell, who gathered and, while grounded, smartly fed Tom Seymour to bring Scotland to within a single point.
Australia quickly replied when Tevita Kuridrani burst through on 63 minutes, but were staring an unlikely exit in the face when Mark Bennett intercepted James Slipper’s pass to go under the posts.
There was to be one final twist however as Joubert, who sprinted off the pitch to boos at full-time, awarded the Wallabies a last-gasp penalty which Foley converted to spare his and Australia’s blushes.
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