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'It doesn't fall on Kinghorn': How Scotland really gifted a win to the Wallabies

By Finn Morton
A dejected Scotland Flanker, Jamie Ritchie, as Australia celebrate after narrowly winning the game 16-15 in the Autumn International match between Scotland and Australia at Murrayfield Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Jacobs/MB Media/Getty Images)

Former All Blacks hooker James Parsons believes Scotland gifted a win to the Wallabies by squandering key moments during their hard-fought Test last weekend.


While the match will go down in history as a one-point thriller, and somewhat be defined by a missed Blair Kinghorn penalty, the match shouldn’t have come down to that final moment.

Scotland were leading 5-3 mid-way through the first half when they blew a golden opportunity to extend their lead.

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Playing with the advantage, the hosts spread the ball wide right to inside centre Sione Tuipulotu, who dropped the ball cold with the try-line in sight.

Australia responded by eventually marching up the other end of the field and adding three points to their total, and they held onto this lead going into the break.

Another key moment, which can only be described a schoolboy mistake between two outside backs, occurred with just over 10 minutes to play.

Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley kicked for touch from a penalty, but failed to find the sideline on the full. But the ball did bounce into touch as winger Duhan van der Merwe and fullback Ollie Smith both seemingly expected the other to take the catch.


Foley converted the go-ahead penalty goal shortly after, which ultimately handed Australia a tough win on the road.

Speaking on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod, Parsons said the Scots had “presented it (the win) on a platter” for the Wallabies, who made the most of their opportunities.

“From my point of view watching that game, I’ve got more expectation on Scotland than I did before that match,” Parsons said.

“They were in charge of their own destiny. I thought the Wallabies would win that convincingly.

“I haven’t been able to question the Wallabies’ grit for a few years now, like they just do hang in the fight. They are one side that just doesn’t go away.


“Very rarely are they beaten well and truly, especially under Dave Rennie’s reign.

“Yes they’d like to win more but you knew it was going to be close, you knew there was going to be some sort of a comeback.

“But Scotland did gift it to them, they presented it on a platter and the Wallabies were good enough to take it.”

Star prop Taniela Tupou was penalised in the dying minutes, which gave Kinghorn the chance to win the Test in front of a buzzing Murrayfield crowd.

But the late escape wasn’t meant to be for Kinghorn and his teammates, as the pivot pulled his shot wide left.

Australian scrum half Nic White then brilliantly drop kicked the ball into touch on the bounce, which saw the Test come to an end.

Parsons said that the result shouldn’t “rest on his (Kinghorn) shoulders alone”, which Bryn Hall agreed with.

“It’s unlucky. For a young guy like that to be put in that position to win a game against Australia, it’s unfortunate,” Hall said.

“He had some really great touches, let alone his speed that he did for that try and being able to use those football skills to get over the line.

“He showed a lot of good traits that I thought that are going to be great for him to be able to move on. That aura of Russell was going to be always around there, but they’ve trusted him and wanted to give him the opportunity to do that.

“It was 15-6 with 20 minutes to go, and they had five or six opportunities… all in their control. So it doesn’t fall on Kinghorn.”

Kinghorn scored 10 points within an 11-minute span shortly after the half-time break, including a brilliant try which would’ve impressed any footballer watching.

The 25-year-old also beat two defenders with the ball in his hands, and made 11 tackles in what was simply an impressive display.

“They wouldn’t have even been that close had he not played, he was probably the best player on the park,” Parsons added.

“He missed some kicks, that’s going to happen, but without him out there, that individual brilliance, that desperation to get that ball for his kick and run 70.”

Next up for the Wallabies is a trip to Stade de France to take on the world’s second-best men’s rugby team, and 2023 Rugby World Cup hosts.

Not only are France the reigning Six Nations champions, but they haven’t lost a Test since playing Australia in Brisbane last year.

The Wallabies are also set to test themselves against Italy, Ireland and Wales on their five-match spring tour.

As for Scotland, they’ll play Fiji next before hosting the All Blacks at Murrayfield a week later. To finish their Autumn Internationals campaign, they’ll also take on Argentina.


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