Typical of Scottish sport we get so close and then go out of a competition, almost as predictably as England’s Football team, on penalties, writes Stuart Cameron.
The effort put in by the Scotland squad was incredible against Australia.
We scored more points against the Aussies than we have ever done before in the history of this fixture. We were the last team from the Southern Hemisphere to go out of the competition and almost pulled off one of the shocks of the century.
While other countries seem to get the rub of the green, the opposite usually applies to Scotland, a nation which punches above its weight so many times. There’s been very little to celebrate since the turn of the century and certainly nothing as tangible as a Triple Crown or Grand Slam to enjoy. We’ve been on the end of a few thrashings in our time but that is a different kind of disappointment. It’s when we get so close to success and then it’s whisked away that it hurts.
We’ve had some big wins of course over the years but in most cases it was in a friendly against depleted teams, but at the World Cup the best available players are there, and that is why this defeat against Australia will take a long time to get over. The World Cup stage is where the best of the best perform. We were touching distance from making the final four, and who knows what could have happened against Argentina?
The arguments will rage on for a long time - The final penalty which floored us. The late tackle on Stuart Hogg which wasn’t scrutinised, and the Sean Maitland yellow card. There were other incidents too. You can only imagine what it felt like to the Scottish team. They gave all for the jersey, they did us proud and put in an 80 minute performance which bodes well for the future.