Rugby: Scotland left blaming referees yet again

Scotland were forced to relive the horrors of their RWC 2015 quarterfinal loss to Australia this morning as they lost by one point in Edinburgh. Photo / Getty
Scotland were forced to relive the horrors of their RWC 2015 quarterfinal loss to Australia this morning as they lost by one point in Edinburgh. Photo / Getty

Scotland was yet again stewing over refereeing decisions after losing to Australia by one point for the second successive encounter.

Scotland coach Vern Cotter and captain Greig Laidlaw both took aim at referee John Lacey in the aftermath of their crushing 23-22 defeat at Murrayfield.

It followed their controversial quarter-final exit in last year's World Cup when referee Craig Joubert awarded a hotly-debated penalty which Bernard Foley kicked to win the game 35-34.

This time around, it was Foley's conversion of Tevita Kuridrani's 75th minute try that proved the difference between the sides.

However, Scotland dominated much of the game with a committed and passionate performance, and outscored Australia three tries to two, but were left annoyed by several second-half penalties given to Australia at the breakdown and scrum.

"It might have come down to - I've got to be careful what I say, but I don't think we got the rub of the green.

"There were eight penalties against us in the second half and only two for us.

"There were a number of things - those are things we can't control.

"I just think there were things that didn't quite go our way."

Laidlaw added: "As Vern said, when you go back and look at a few decisions we were harshly penalised on a few occasions, and it just gives them easy field position to be able to play in our half."

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore praised his side for being able to fight back from 17-10 down at half-time, and then 22-13 down early in the second half, to pull off a win in front of a record crowd of 65,395 at Murrayfield.

"I think it's nice when you speak about something during the week, we knew we would potentially be in that situation and the guys showed some good mental toughness, if that's what you want to call it, at the end to stick to the game," Moore said.

"It's easy to panic in those situations and try and make something out of nothing and I thought we stuck to our game pretty well.

"There were some pretty clear voices out there on the field and that was pleasing.

"Of course it's always better to be on the right side of the result and we know what it feels like to be on the other side. I feel for Scotland as well.

"It's not a nice way to finish a game but we have enormous respect for them as a team and that's why we're very happy with the result."

Australia has begun its Grand Slam tour with a 32-8 win over Wales and this one-point escape against Scotland.

Next on their trip is France, in Paris this weekend, which does not count in the Grand Slam because they're not a "home union".

After that match, the Wallabies will face the extremely tough assignments of beating Ireland in Dublin and then England in London to claim their first Grand Slam in 32 years.

- news.com.au

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