By John Davidson, (RLP RLWC Correspondent) Date: 8/11/13
Scotland are still alive in the World Cup after engineering a tremendous second-half recovery to beat the USA 22-8.
At half-time they were 8-0 down and luckless with several decisions made by the video referee. The Tomahawks were defending stoutly and it didn’t look to be Scotland’s night.
But the Bravehearts came out of the sheds and lived up to their nickname, blitzing the Americans in an engaging nine-minute period where they scored four tries. It was too much for the Yanks to handle, who were perhaps tired after a busy schedule and with one eye on a mammoth battle with Australia next weekend.
Man of the match Matty Russell and halfback Danny Brough were the stars for Scotland, with Russell further enhancing his reputation at this tournament. Russell has simply been a sensation and he showed great class to score his third try in his third game in a row.
Brough was masterful, getting his forwards moving and worrying the American defence with some handy kicks.
But it was the USA that were in charge in the first 40 minutes, captain Joseph Paulo setting up the first try for Christian Friend. Scotland’s Ben Hellewell was held up over the line four minutes later and then a certain Scotland try was ruled out after a Brough pass.
On 22 minutes the Tomahawks were in again with Taylor Welch scoring off a Craig Priestly grubber. Brough looked to have registered Scotland’s first try five minutes later after a jinking run but it was ruled no try, somewhat contentiously, for obstruction.
Scotland continued to press the American line but the Yanks’ defence held firm.
Eleven minutes into the second 40 and the American wall was finally breached. Brough held the ball up beautifully for Brett Phillips to score, then Russell tied it with an awesome solo run three minutes later.
The Bravehearts had another video ref call go against them on 57 minutes, for an Alex Hurst effort, but Luke Douglas put them further in front four minutes later with a barge-over try from a tap taken five metres out.
Scotland were flying at this point, enjoying a ton of penalties in their favour and momentum at their backs. A bit of niggle then crept into the game, both teams getting frustrated, but the Bravehearts managed to keep their cool and post a try in the final minutes to Alex Hurst off a great Brough play.
The match finished 22-8, Brough nailing a conversion from the sideline to put the icing on a great comeback.
The USA have bigger fish to fry, with a date with the champion Kangaroos, while Scotland have a nervous wait till Sunday where they will be hoping Tonga can do them a favour and beat Italy.
Scotland 22, TriesDouglas, Hurst, Phillips, Russell, Goals: Brough (3).
United States 8, Tries: Welch, Freed.