Scotland and Italy share the spoils in a thrilling draw

Ben Hellewell

It was the first draw of the World Cup so far and it was a highly entertaining one, as both teams fought back on numerous occasions to keep themselves alive, before the game eventually finished 30-all.

It was a quick start for the Bravehearts as they raced out to a 14-0 lead but the Italians resolve saw them claw their way back late in the first half, with the half-time score 14-12 to the Scots.

With indifferent weather conditions – the sun was out yet it was somehow raining – Scotland were promising early on, with Matt Russell again performing well as he scored early on.

For Scottish coach Steve McCormack, he knows that his side gave it their all and everything in the game and he enjoys seeing that from his side.

“I’ve got to a stage now where I do enjoy it, probably a few years ago I wouldn’t have done but the older you get and the dafter you get you start enjoying it a bit more,” said McCormack.

“I enjoy watching a team that gives absolutely everything. As a team that’s twice in four days that we’ve given absolutely everything.”

With a big clash coming up against the USA – who are perhaps the dark-horse of the competition based on some of their results – McCormack knows that his side will have to play well to win given their form and looks forward to his side being tested.

“If we can mix that with a bit of skill like we’ve shown, then we’ve got a chance of getting to the quarter-finals on Thursday without playing exceptionally well,” said McCormack.

“We’re looking forward to what’s going to be a fantastic game, USA have been one of the outstanding teams of the competition so far, so that’s looking to be a magnificent game.”

The clash was a see-sawing affair, with Ben Hellewell scoring in the 70th minute to make it 30-all, though Brough – who had kicked 5 goals in the game beforehand – could not convert the try and the score remained 30-all.

What pleased Italian coach Carlo Napolitano was his side’s spirit and resolve after going down 14-0.

“I think especially after going 14-0 down we had an uphill battle and we showed great character,” said Napolitano.

With a few areas to work on moving forward, the Italians are a side that have a host of experience and have played good football, but Napolitano knows that great character in games is just the start.

“The perfect rugby league game is when you’re winning and there are no mistakes but in our game there were a few and we’ll have to work on them,” said Napolitano.

“There are areas that we’ve already addressed with the boys, but we just showed great character.”

A few decisions were iffy but overall, the Italian coach is not disappointed with one point.

“It’s not cost us anything apart from a point. Apart from that, we were a bit unlucky with a few of the decisions. But this is rugby league,” said Napolitano.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *