| 8°C Belfast

Ford had full faith in Laidlaw

Close

Greig Laidlaw held his nerve to kick the winning points

Greig Laidlaw held his nerve to kick the winning points

Greig Laidlaw held his nerve to kick the winning points

Scotland captain Ross Ford had no hesitation in handing the ball to match-winner Greig Laidlaw before he kicked the last-gasp penalty to secure a memorable 9-6 win over Australia in Newcastle.

Laidlaw secured Scotland's first win over the Wallabies on their own turf in 30 years when he slotted home his kick, after the final hooter had sounded, in atrocious conditions.

"He has done that all season for us, pressure games, pressure kicks - he nudges them over. I have total confidence in him," said Ford.

The winning kick prompted celebrations from the Scotland players, who had also won their previous meeting with Australia 9-8 three years ago.

For coach Andy Robinson and his players there was clearly a mixture of relief and delight after they showed great discipline in the second half, holding off the Wallabies after they dominated with a stiff breeze at their backs.

"Our tackles and breakdown work was good and we held them out," Ford said. "We had to stay disciplined and not give away penalties needlessly. We had to trust in the defence and keep it going. It showed in the end that we did manage to break out of our half and into a position where we could attack."

For Robinson and his team, it was the first win of the year and broke a sequence that had run to seven consecutive losses. Robinson insisted, however, his side would not get carried away by the result, and that there was still a lot of work to do if they were to start fulfilling their potential consistently.

"I am just delighted for the players and the management who have worked so hard," he said.

"Also the Scottish supporters because it has been tough for them when the games have been so close and the team has been playing well, getting into good positions to win matches but not achieving that. I understand the disappointment, but for this group of players and management, there is a real belief and you saw the team spirit.

"Today our plans in tough conditions worked well but we are going to have to keep improving and keep working hard. I know from the Scottish boys that they are going to do that and that is why they are a delight to coach."

PA