Too much about last night was similar. At least in Murrayfield in 2009 the Wallabies managed to get over the line. But the biggest disappointment about last night? Not the result, but what the game became: a non-event. It should be embarrassing for the second placed Wallabies to lose against the twelfth place Scots, but it is more annoying that nothing could be learnt from it.
Edinburgh moved to the NSW north coast on Tuesday night and brought with it some horrible highland weather. No doubt the conditions suited the Scottish side, but the current Tri-nation champions should be able to win in any conditions. Australia can’t blame the conditions for the result but they can blame it for something infinitely more infuriating: Deans and his coaching staff are one match down and are none the wiser about their test team. This would have been the case even if the score line was reversed.
Of course any Wallabies game should be one which they win but this test was also designed to see whether debutants or ageing stars should be in the squad. The loss to Samoa last year was a tough pill to swallow but it showed the Giteau, along with a couple of others, wasn’t up to scratch. Unfortunately, unlike the Samoa loss, this match did not rule out any player and, aside from Dan Palmer, it didn’t give any player a chance to claim a test spot.
The cyclonic conditions that happened in Newcastle last night meant that no players, particularly in the backs had a chance to shine. This meant that the game, which was a trial for several fringe players, effectively became pointless for Deans before the whistle was blown. Players like Harris, Monahan and Tamane did not see enough of the ball to warrant inclusion or exclusion. This means that fringe players will need to be picked again during the Wales tests to see if the are up to international standard. For Deans this is not a case of back to the drawing board because this game meant he could never leave the drawing board in the first place.