Scotland set to move past Wallabies in Rugby world rankings

By , Darren Walton is a Roar Guru

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    Tired of being Scotland the brave, now Gregor Townsend’s men are poised to be officially better than Australia for the first time after a stirring 24-19 win over the Wallabies in Sydney.

    In a redemption of sorts for a controversial one-point loss to the Wallabies in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, the Scots are set to climb to fourth in the world rankings on Monday, with Australia in danger of slipping from third to as low as sixth.

    “We talk about how the Scots are brave and all that sort of stuff but I don’t think we speak enough about the skills that the guys have,” elated captain John Barclay said.

    “Look at the tries we’re scoring and I think it’s brilliant. I think it’s underplayed sometimes.”

    In reality, Scotland’s first two tries, coming from a sloppy intercept pass from Tatafu Polota-Nau and then a charged down kick from Will Genia, were first-half gifts at Allianz Stadium.

    But Hamish Watson’s match-winner was a gem, the flanker finishing off some beautiful lead-up work and slight of hand from centre Duncan Taylor.

    Barclay said the Scots, who also enjoyed an impressive Six Nations campaign, were benefiting from the painful experience of losing to the Wallabies at the death by a point twice in the past two years.

    “You can’t deny the fact that we’ve been on the wrong side of a couple of these against the Aussies the last couple of years, so it’s nice to close one out,” he said.

    “In the Six Nations we closed out a couple of really important games, tight games – the Ireland game, the Wales game – I think we’re getting better at closing out games.

    “Today was tit for tat a little bit right til the end, but we take confidence from it.

    “We’ve got a few guys missing and Gregor mentioned we feel like we’re just scratching the surface here.”

    The Wallabies insisted pre-match there’d be no complacency and, despite accusing his players of lacking urgency on Saturday night, coach Michael Cheika bristled when asked by a Scottish journalist if he was “surprised by how well Scotland played given people have been talking them down?”

    “We think Scotland are a top team,” Cheika snapped.

    “We never said anything about that. You guys (the media) say it, and then you perpetuate the story through us somehow.

    “The only people who are saying Scotland aren’t up to it is the Scottish media – definitely not ours.”

    © AAP 2017

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