Well done Scotland!
IT had all the ingredients for an ambush. Rested players, Tuesday night test in a country setting, short prep, atrocious conditions, and numerous players playing their first Wallaby test. And so it was with Scotland's 9-6 win over the Wallabies on Tuesday night.
First the positive. To see that many Novocastrians lacking any respect for their own safety out in the open weather, shows there is some appetite for mid-week test rugby in Newcastle.
Now, the not so positive.
Rugby just can't take a trick. What should have been a wonderful promotion for the code, was made redundant before the kickoff with the maelstrom that hung around Newcastle ... it essentially ruined the fixture on all levels. There are not many things you can do in that weather, and entertaining rugby is certainly not one of them.
I must say, I was happy the game was not live on free-to-air TV. The least amount of non-rugby people exposed to it the better for the long-term strength of rugby's brand. It was an anti-promotion for the code, and any 'swinging' sport voter who came across it would have been repulsed and warned off it possibly forever!
It was not a night for quixotic, expressive attack. (I do wonder how Quade Cooper would have gone in those conditions. His natural game is quixotic and impulsive!) Faced with six debutantes, an old-school preparation time of two days, and horizontal rain and wind, every element of attacking rugby was difficult, near impossible to perform. It was one of those nights where having the ball was not necessarily a key to winning the game.
Yet, I thought the Wallabies should have taken a cue from the leaguies. Three hit ups and a cross kick was the go. If you scored, fantastic. If you made significant ground, reapply. If you turned the ball over, awesome: just bash 'em!
Though, as rugby is a game played by two teams, there is no excuses - it's the same for both teams.
Well done to Scotland. And good luck with your games in Fiji and Samoa!
We did get one back
Whilst we struggled to lose against the Scots in Tuesday's test, over in South Africa, our under 20's claimed one back by thrashing Scotland 62-12 during the annual IRB Junior World Championships.
The boys scored eleven tries to two, and pleased coach, David Nucifora, along the way.
Should we struggle against Wales over the next week, we can at least divert our focus to the Junior Wallabies.
Australia v Wales.
It will be interesting to see how the players recover mentally and physically from Tuesday's test. It wasn't open footy but it was very, very physical. And with only three days between tests, not too much time for remedial field work.
Let's just say that the Wallaby team we will see tomorrow will not resemble the one from Tuesday night, in any shape, or most importantly, form.
Another positive for Aussie fans is that there is no possible way we'll get those same weather conditions. Surely maelstroms only appear once across a code and a continent in a generation!