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Top 10: RU shocks

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  • 5 flicks through the archives following Scotland's dramatic 9-8 victory over Australia at Murrayfield.

Matt Giteau's last-gasp conversion miss saw Scotland's long-awaited search for victory over Australia come to an end on Saturday evening.

The 9-8 triumph was the Scots' first over the Wallabies since 1982 and snapped a run of 16 successive defeats against their southern hemisphere opponents.

And while the Edinburgh and Glasgow locals will tell you the outcome was never in doubt, to many others this result can be placed in the 'greatest shocks of all time' category.

But just how huge a giant killing was this for Andy Robinson's men? Judge for yourselves while scouring the list below, and even add your own suggestions.

Here is's Top Ten examples of when David prevailed against both Goliath and the odds.

Wales 13 Western Samoa 16 - 1991 World Cup

Labelled by many as 'the darkest day in Welsh rugby history' occurred in the capital city of Cardiff on October 6, 1991.

Little-fancied Western Samoa, a nation boasting just 2,000 rugby players, reduced Cardiff Arms Park to silence as Wales crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage.

The Pacific Islanders, who had powerful loose forward Pat Lam in their ranks, threw themselves into tackle after tackle before scoring two tries of their own to triumph.

The result may have happened nearly two decades ago, but it remains one of the biggest upsets in rugby World Cup history and spawned the ironic comment from Welsh fans: "Imagine if we'd have been playing the whole of Samoa."

Fiji 38 Wales 34 - 2007 World Cup

Fiji booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a breathtaking 38-34 victory over a shell-shocked Wales in France.

Not only did the result spell the end for Wales in the competition, it also resulted in the sacking of head coach Gareth Jenkins.

The Pacific Islanders produced a whirlwind start to lead 25-10 at half-time, however Shane Williams inspired a Wales fightback with a virtuoso solo try shortly after the interval.

And when Martyn Williams crashed over with six minutes remaining, it seemed as though victory had been snatched from the jaws of defeat.

Fiji, though, weren't finished there and when prop Graham Dewes scored the last of the game's nine tries just four minutes from time, a remarkable victory was complete.

Munster 12 New Zealand 0 - 1978

There is no such thing as a 'friendly' in rugby, especially when the All Blacks are involved.

And in 1978 a new piece of Irish folklore was written when Irish province Munster stunned a near full-strength New Zealand in front of a packed-out Thomond Park.

Munster remain the only Irish team to have defeated the All Blacks to this day (so those from Limerick keep telling me).

Christy Cantillon scored a try and the boot of Tony Ward notched the other eight points on an historic day in Limerick.

France 43 New Zealand 31 - 1999 World Cup

France stunned 1/20 favourites New Zealand to reach the final of the 1999 World Cup in front of 75,000 fans at Twickenham.

After stuttering their way into the last four, the French produced 80 minutes of heroic rugby to stun the complacent Kiwis.

The result was even more remarkable considering Les Bleus were trailing the mighty All Blacks 24-10 early in the second half.

Christophe Lamaison was the toast of France, the fly-half providing 28 of the 43 points as his side were given a standing ovation by the London crowd.

Scotland 9 Australia 8 - 2009

In just his second game as Scotland head coach, Andy Robinson guided his side to a memorable victory over Australia at Murrayfield.

The Scots, who had gone 27 years without a win over the Wallabies, produced what Robinson later described as "the most courageous performance that I have ever been involved with" to send the home fans delirious.

Australia arrived in Edinburgh on the back of a win against England and a draw in Ireland but they couldn't cope with the fired-up Scots.

Wallabies fly-half Matt Giteau had the chance to break Scotland hearts, however his makeable conversion miss with the last play of the game cued wild celebrations in Edinburgh.

South Africa 15 New Zealand 12 - 1995 World Cup

Post-apartheid South Africa reunited the nation with a sensational victory over tournament favourites New Zealand in the final of the 1995 World Cup.

The Springboks, seeded ninth for the tournament, stunned Australia in the opening match of the campaign before edging a thrilling final at Ellis Park.

No tries were scored during the match but the power and determination from the Boks, which was epitomised by captain Francois Pienaar, ensured World Cup misery for the All Blacks.

Joel Stransky kicked all 15 points for South Africa, including the winning drop-goal in extra time.

France 12 Argentina 17 - 2007 World Cup

Las Pumas headed to France for their sixth World Cup campaign and delivered one of the greatest shocks the competition has ever seen in the opening match.

Drawn against the host nation in the pool stages, Argentina stunned the Stade de France crowd to record a famous 17-12 victory over Les Bleus.

The win was the first of a five-game winning streak at the competition for the Pumas, who went on to finish the campaign in third.

Their performances gripped a predominantly football-loving nation to such an extent that the Buenos Aires derby between Boca Juniors and River Plate was rescheduled so that it would not conflict with the Pumas' quarter-final match against Scotland.

England 18 Argentina 25 - 2006

Argentina warmed up for the 2007 World Cup with a memorable victory over a woeful England at Twickenham.

The 25-18 victory was not only the Pumas' first at the home of English rugby, it was also a record-equalling seventh successive defeat for the 2003 World Cup winners.

Head coach Andy Robinson resigned shortly after the defeat having won just nine of his 22 matches in charge of England.

Scotland 19 England 13 - 2000 Six Nations

Not only did Scotland's footballers beat England at Wembley in 2000, but their rugby team also got one over the old enemy at the start of the Millennium.

A mud-sodden Murrayfield played host to a Six Nations victory which saw the Scots end a 10-year wait for Calcutta Cup success over England.

It also ensured England were denied a Grand Slam for a second successive year.

Wales 24 Canada 26 - 1993

Cardiff Arms Park played host to another famous upset in 1993 when Wales crashed to an embarrassing defeat to rugby minnows Canada.

The narrow victory remains Canada's only triumph over the Welsh in 12 matches between the sides.

Comments (10)

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Joe Beard says...

What about a certain game in the Powergen Cup on 29/2/2004, which ended Premiership champions London Wasps 24, Birmingham & Solihull (or Pertemps Bees as they were called then) 28. Apparently the biggest shock in the professional rugby era!!!!

Posted 10:01 22nd July 2010

Justin Credible says...

wat about treviso beating peppignan

Posted 17:21 15th January 2010

Bob Sumner says...

Waterloo beating Bath in the Pilkington Cup in 92 (I think) I think it was the same day that Aus played the Baa Baas. By the way N H, Ireland with a population of 5mill, what about Wales's number of Slams? Or NZ teams year in year out?

Posted 23:15 2nd December 2009

N H says...

Ireland winning this years Six Nations. a courtry with a population of 5 million completely outplaying countries like England , France and Italy with populations of nearly 60 million. I dont think people realize just how much Ireland over achieve.

Posted 10:19 29th November 2009

Ryno Du preez says...

@ Chris R-The tigers played a Bok 3rd team. Refereeing also left alot to the imagination. I mean Stuart Dickinson should never be alowed to ref a rugby match again. He is absolutely shocking.

Posted 10:11 27th November 2009

Philip Gray says...

I was at the recent Leicester v South Africa game and the result was just an incredible outcome in front of 24,000 with a virtual second team against the World Champions.

Posted 22:21 26th November 2009

Padraig Greenwood says...

Treviso 9, Perpignan 8 was definitely the biggest shock this season. SA's '95 win over NZ was really not that amazing as SA had already beaten defending champs Australia.

Posted 00:49 25th November 2009

Jm Jm says...

England beating Australia in 2007 was a big shock, as was the England victories over SA in 1994 and NZ in 1993. On the other side, Wales beating England in 1999. Also what about France beating New Zealand in 1994?

Posted 17:45 24th November 2009

Tom Dugmore says...

Andy Render, I'd say that 1st day of the 2007 1/4 finals as a whole was a corker. Australia and NZ both going down to England and France in succession. What a day that was!

Posted 17:25 24th November 2009

Harry Cook says...

Not sure the 1995 RWC was that much of a shock given everything going on at the time. Think England win over the Boks in 1972 when Jon "we may not be good but at least we turn up" Pullin led the wooden spoonists to victory. Also Scotland got a 50-point hammering from Fiji in 1998, while what about Gareth Rees kicking Canada to victory over the French? If you are including domestic sides v internationals ... then there was the North of England's win up at Otley.

Posted 11:40 24th November 2009

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