And so it came to pass that Scotland were eliminated from the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup at the Quarter Finals stage – the sixth time we have gone out at this point in the competition and the second occasion that Australia have done us in. But we came close, helluva close to making it to the semi-finals and in many ways it was even more painful than the recent Poland result. Cue reference to Glorious failure, defeat from the jaws of victory etc etc etc.Now call me a sore loser, but time for a quick chant of – ”Rolfie Harris, he’s one of your own…….”
On a less petty note however, here’s a quick look at the real football matches in which we have put Australia to the sword.November/December 1985 saw that rare achievement – Scotland winning a play-off. In the first leg at Hampden, goals from Davie Cooper and Frank McAvennie gave us a 2-0 victory which was followed up with a goal-less draw in Melbourne two weeks later and off Scotland trotted to the Mexico 86 World Cup Finals with caretaker-manager Alex Ferguson at the helm.
We then beat the Socceroos/Scooby-Doos 1-0 at Hampden in March 1996 as Craig Brown prepared for our appearance at the Euro 96 Finals. Ally McCoist got the winner on the night he won his 50th cap and captained his country.
More recently, Scotland beat Australia 3-1 in a challenge match at Easter Road, Edinburgh in August 2012. Jordan Rhodes and Ross McCormack netted either side of an own goal by Jason Donovan, I mean Davidson. Scotland used six subs that evening and Ian Black was one of them. The former Hearts player, who was then with Rangers in the Third Division, was boo-ed by a number of so-called Scotland supporters as he took to the field of play. Call me naive or old fashioned but I think you should never boo your own team – it only helps the opposition.
In conclusion then, I think it would be great if we could copy Australia and change football confederations to play our world cup qualifiers in Asia. I can see saltires and footsoldiers in the likes of Bangkok, Tehran and Tianamen Square. Just remember you read it here first…..and probably last.