By Chris Garry, Date: 8/11/13
PLAYING their third game in nine days, the ITC Secure Networking USA Tomahawks have lost a tough contest against a committed Scotland at Salford City Stadium.
Against a side featuring former State of Origin half Peter Wallace and Man of Steel Danny Brough, America were tenacious and dominated the first half.
However, an excellent recovery from Scotland and a 12-0 penalty count in the second half saw the Scots win 22-8.
It is the first loss for America during their World Cup campaign and occurred after the Tomahawks led 8-0 at half time.
The first half penalty count was 5-3 in favour of the Tomahawks and regardless, Scotland deserved their win.
The Tomahawks now prepare to play Australia in a quarter final in Wrexham, Wales, on Saturday November 16.
“I’m really proud of these players but it is so tough to defend all those penalties,” coach Terry Matterson said.
“The players were not frustrated with Scotland, they were frustrated with what happened out there.
“Now we put that behind us because these guys have been great playing three games in nine days.
“Their effort was outstanding as was Scotland’s. Scotland played really well tonight.
“These players have really brought into our structure and the need for effort.
“We will work a bit more on our ball control and our discipline because some penalties were warranted but not all of them.”
Matterson is assistant coach at the North Queensland Cowboys who have four players in the Australian team in Johnathan Thurston, James Tamou, Matt Scott and Brent Tate.
Matterson’s recently announced fellow assistant at the Cowboys, David Furner, is also an assistant coach with Australia.
“I have studied their players every week for the past two years with the Cowboys,” Matterson said
“The way we have approached the three games, we don’t talk about results.
“We just want a really good performance out of these guys next week.
“You learn playing the best.
“I don’t need to go through their last three games.
“I have a fair idea what Cameron Smith can do.
“Our guys will not be starstruck.”
Captain America, Joseph Paulo, said the Kangaroos clash was a chance for the Tomahawks to show they could compete with the world’s best.
“For the boys to take on the best in Australia, they just can’t wait for the challenge,” Paulo said.
“We are going out there to win.”
Paulo revelled in the opening exchanges of what was a heated game, converting goal-line pressure to a try in the seventh minute.
Paulo dummied long before passing short to Colorado’s own Kristian Freed, with the dynamic fullback barging over from five metres out to register his first try for the tournament.
Then it was Dallas born and raised centre Taylor Welch scoring his debut World Cup try, when he dived on a precise Craig Priestly grubber.
Welch’s effort was superb as he ran around Scotland defenders to plant it down just inside the dead-ball line.
Brough showed his class in the 27th minute when he diced through the Tomahawks’ line in a 20-metre dart to put the ball down but the try was denied for obstruction as Brough clearly ran around two of his own players.
That left the USA with an 8-0 halftime lead.
Scotland showed their class in the second half, scoring two tries within three minutes.
Their first was through a strong run from Brett Phillips who barged over the line.
Their fullback Matt Russell darted over in their next set and the successful conversion from Brough saw Scotland grab the led 10-8.
After repeat sets on the Tomahawks’ line, Scotland prop Luke Douglas scored beside the posts to make it 16-8 with 15 minutes remaining.
A last minute try to Alex Hurst blew the score out.
Scotland 22 (Phillips, Russell, Douglas, Hurst tries; Brough 3 goals) def USA Tomahawks 8 (Kristian Freed, Taylor Welch tries) at Salford City Stadium.