Relieved Australia hails 'great escape'

 19 Oct 2015 - 8:39

Relieved Australia hails 'great escape'
Australia's fly half Bernard Foley scores the last penalty kick during a quarter-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup against Scotland at Twickenham stadium, southwest London, on October 18, 2015. AFP



Sydney: Australia breathed a sigh of relief Monday after a "great escape" to scrape into the World Cup semi-finals, with the nation's media saying they deserved the highly controversial win.
Iceman Bernard Foley's penalty a minute from time saw Australia crush Scotland's dreams with a heart-stopping 35-34 victory at Twickenham, in a match overshadowed by a late penalty decision by referee Craig Joubert.
The experienced South African ruled Scotland replacement prop Jon Welsh had strayed offside, in a call that came under attack from several former internationals.
Under the headline "Wallabies in great escape," The Australian broadsheet said that despite the last minute drama, Michael Cheika's team had earned the right to stay in the tournament and face-off against Argentina in the semi-finals.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation described the match, which Australia played without lynchpin starters David Pocock and Israel Folau, as "an arm wrestle from the start".

The Sydney Morning Herald said the Wallabies needed to regain their composure after escaping from "the jaws of death".

"The win will be debated for days to come, with commentators divided on the validity of the defining penalty," wrote rugby reporter Georgina Robinson. 

"The look on coach Michael Cheika's face said it all as his No. 10 lined up to take the 80th minute shot at goal. On that moment rested all of the new-found optimism in Australian rugby."
The Sydney Daily Telegraph called the last-gasp win a "Houdini act" and lavished praise on Foley.
"He missed his first three shots at goal on the night, but was the dream-maker in the final minute when he banged over the pressure penalty goal for the great escape," it said.

"If you have a No. 10 who has the nerve, it flows through the whole team. Clutch wins over Wales and Scotland... huge."
With attention now turning to Argentina, Herald columnist Paul Cully said it was clear Australia badly missed injured star No. 8 Pocock and predicted the Wallabies could not win the World Cup without him.
"Pray that this week brings better news, because Scotland showed at Twickenham that the Wallabies cannot be world champions without him," he said
"Pocock's value is not just in stopping points, but in creating them. There is no player left in the tournament who has such an influence on his team."