Scotland out of World Cup after last-gasp Australia penalty
Last Updated: 19/10/15 11:05am
An 80th-minute penalty from Bernard Foley gave Australia a dramatic 35-34 win over Scotland in the quarter-final of the World Cup at Twickenham.
Scotland took an unlikely lead in the 75th minute when Mark Bennett intercepted a pass from James Slipper to run in under the poles, but the Six Nations side had the game cruelly taken away from them when Jon Welsh was controversially adjudged to have played the ball from an offside position and Foley stepped up to kick his side to victory with seconds remaining.
The lead changed hands several times during an enthralling, end-to-end match, and a Peter Horne try had given Scotland a 16-15 half-time advantage.
Australia had an eight-point lead with 15 minutes remaining before Scotland clawed their way back through the Bennett try and boot of Greig Laidlaw, ensuring a nerve-shredding end to the game - before Foley nervelessly sealed it for the Wallabies.
The win means that all four Rugby Championship sides will feature in the semi-finals, with Australia facing Argentina after they saw off Ireland 43-20 earlier in the day at Cardiff, and defending champions New Zealand take on South Africa after they defeated France and Wales respectively.
Australia were off to the perfect start, with Adam Ashley-Cooper taking a pass from Tevita Kuridrani and crossing over in the corner in the ninth minute, but Foley missed the chance to add two points to the try.
What followed was a lengthy period of Scottish dominance, as Laidlaw added three points from the tee before Peter Horne spotted a gap in the middle of a ruck and ran in untouched to give Laidlaw an easy conversion and hand Scotland a 10-5 lead.
Laidlaw extended the lead with his boot but Drew Mitchell scored a try that brought Australia back in it.
Foley missed the conversion again, and when Laidlaw called for the tee following a penalty to make it 16-10, Scotland looked set to take that lead into half-time.
However in the final minute of the half Australia were awarded a penalty and opted to kick for the corner rather than take the three points.
The decision was rewarded when Michael Hooper held onto the ball at the back of a driving maul before his forwards carried him over the line.
Foley missed the kick, handing Scotland a one-point lead at the break.
Australia overtook Scotland immediately in the second half. A sweeping move down the left looked dangerous and when Sean Maitland was spotted interfering with a pass with a deliberate knock on, he was given ten minutes in the bin by Craig Joubert.
Australia opted for the line-out and the gap left by Maitland was immediately exploited when a pass was fired to Mitchell on the left wing to score untouched.
Australia were then penalised at the scrum which gave Laidlaw a chance to bring his side back into it at 22-19.
The Wallabies looked to have extended their lead when Ashley-Cooper crossed in the right corner, but the TMO review showed a knock-on from Will Genia in the build-up to it. However a Foley penalty reinstated their six-point lead.
Scotland brought the game to within one point when Finn Russell charged down a kick from Foley and tore towards the Wallabies line. He was brought down short but popped the ball to Tommy Seymour from the ground to crash over for the try with 20 minutes remaining.
The conversion from Laidlaw would have handed the Scots the lead, but he sent it left of the posts.
Australia hit back moments later, when they stole a Scotland line-out near their line and Kuridrani wriggled between two defenders from close range.
The conversion was good, but when Scotland were knocking on the Australian line the Wallabies conceded a penalty. Laidlaw took the chance to bring his side within a single score.
Bennett then intercepted the pass from Slipper to send Twickenham into delirium and set up a tense final five minutes.
Scotland had a line-out in their own half which was overthrown and not collected cleanly. When the ball spilled forward from Josh Strauss and replacement prop Welsh handled it, referee Joubert awarded Australia a penalty.
Foley put aside his nerves to calmly slot the kick and the Wallabies survived the final 30 seconds to progress to the semi-finals of the tournament and break Scottish hearts.