Wallabies relieved by tour-opening victory

With a victory over Scotland already trumping last year's winless spring tour the pressure valve has been released, at least temporarily, on coach Dave Rennie and his Wallabies.

The Australians clinched a 16-15 nail-biter to end their Murrayfield misery and snap a three-game losing streak against the Scots.

Blair Kinghorn had the chance to snatch it for the home side in the final minute of Saturday's (Sunday AEDT) clash in Edinburgh but the five-eighth's penalty strike sailed wide.

The Australians hadn't won at the famed ground since 2016 and after winning just three of their last 12 games, the victory is a massive morale boost with four Tests ahead, including clashes the world's top two teams, Ireland and France.

While they were able to break their hoodoo, it wasn't a pretty performance by the visitors.

They talked pre-match about their discipline, yet conceded 15 penalties with Taniela Tupou pinged at the breakdown to give Kinghorn his winning opportunity.

A relieved Rennie thought they had blown it.

"There was a hell of a lot of noise in the crowd and I thought it was over," Rennie said.

"We're happy to hang on," Rennie said.

"Taniela was probably more relieved than anyone.

"We got ourselves in a bit of a hole after halftime, an opportunist try and we're down 15-6 but the boys showed a lot of character and fought hard for each other and managed to hang on.

"It's important for the tour, it's important for the group."

The Australians struggled with Scotland's ferocity at the breakdown early on despite the best efforts of Michael Hooper, who was back in the line-up for the first time after a three-month mental health break.

They managed to lead 6-5 at halftime courtesy of two Bernard Foley penalties while Scotland fullback Ollie Smith showed his footwork to dot down in the 11th minute.

The Scots raced ahead early in the second half through a brilliant Kinghorn try.

Off a loose Wallabies pass, Kinghorn toed the ball ahead and then kicked again, with the ball bouncing into the rangy playmaker's hands to score.

A penalty then opened up the scoreline to 15-6 after 54 minutes.

The Wallabies got back in the game when they took advantage of the hosts losing a man with captain James Slipper scoring his third career try.

It came just after former Australian flanker Jack Dempsey ran on for his Test debut for the Scots.

Glen Young appeared lucky to avoid a red card after his clean-out made contact with the head of Tate McDermott, with the halfback now in doubt for their next Test against France.

The converted try closed the gap to 15-13 before McDermott's replacement Nic White drew a penalty with Foley putting his team the decisive point ahead in the 71st minute.

Rennie had no issue with the colour of Young's card and admitted Wallabies centre Hunter Paisami "got out of jail free" late in the game when his initial yellow card for a deliberate knockdown was bizarrely rescinded.

With line-up changes likely the coach said they needed to be better against Six Nations champions France next week in Paris.

"The key for us is to back up with a better performance - we know we've got a lot more in us," Rennie said.

"It's Test footy and they're arm wrestles so it's good to come out on the right side of the ledger."