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Wallabies 'got lucky', Genia admits after 35-34 Scotland escape

Australia scrum half Will Genia has admitted his team was lucky to "scrounge" a penalty in the dying moments to knock Scotland out of the Rugby World Cup and advance to a semi-final against Argentina.

Replaced by Nick Phipps with 10 minutes to go, Genia was forced to watch the dramatic finale from the bench.

But he said he could not even bear to look as team-mate Bernard Foley, who had earlier missed three conversions, strode up to take the decisive penalty after a controversial offside decision against Scotland prompted the Twickenham crowd to erupt in a deafening chorus of boos.
You've got to give credit to them, they were a whisker away from the semi-final. So we got lucky this time.
Will Genia
"Obviously [we were] kind of a little bit out of the game with a couple of minutes to go and to somehow sort of scrounge a penalty to give us an opportunity to get the win and for Foles to knock it over was pretty special," Genia said.

"I put my head down and just thought, 'if I hear a really loud cheer he's missed, if I hear a little bit of a cheer he's got it', so I was real grateful it was a little bit of a cheer."

In a tense, enthralling contest where the lead changed hands five times, Scotland had seemed set for its first World Cup semi-final since 1991 until Foley's kick snatched back the lead to set up a 35-34 win and a final-four clash with Argentina.
"I don't know how to feel — just relieved more than anything else," Genia said, paying generous tribute to his Scottish opponents.

"They played so well that first half, they maintained possession, they built momentum in our 22 and obviously came away with points pretty much the whole time.
"You've got to give credit to them and they pretty much were a whisker away from being in the semi-final.

"So we got lucky this time and we're really grateful obviously for another week being in."
Genia said he had congratulated the disconsolate Scottish players and coaches after the game and saved a special word for his opposite number, captain Greig Laidlaw.
"I said it was a pleasure to play against you, you're an incredible player and you're an inspirational leader for your team, and thanks for the game," Genia said.

Australia coach Michael Cheika was happy to admit to some "naivety" at committing to a running game after the Wallabies conjured their great escape.
"Although we've got massive improvements in certain areas, our try scoring ability was there and we went after it," he said after the Wallabies posted five tries to three.
"We didn't go to a kicking game, maybe that was a bit naive from me. Maybe we shouldn't have opened it up for them.

We want to play how our identity tells us. What we represent... and that's to play running footy."
While admitting it was far from a perfect performance from his side, Cheika was more than happy to take the positives from the narrow win ahead of a semi-final date with Argentina.
"If that was an 'escape', then so be it," he said.
"We've scored five tries in the quarter-final of the World Cup. You expect to be somewhere near the winning end of the game.
"But you have to bring the rest of your game as well. Our defence in the first half wasn't up to standard.
"You saw a guy (Horne) walk through the middle of a ruck to score a try. Then an intercept... some poor decisions there.
"From where we are now, if that's an escape then I'm happy to escape."
Cheika said the Wallabies had not lost hope when needing to chase the game in the final minutes.
"I think when the conversion went over [to put Scotland 34-32 up], many teams would have thought 'OK, we've had a good run, let's go home'.
"I just like the way we went back and tried everything we could to get back into the game."


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