By John Davidson, (RLP RLWC Correspondent) Date: 16/11/13
The Kiwis have advanced to the semi-finals with an emphatic display in Leeds.
New Zealand will face either England or France in the next stage after overpowering Scotland 40-4.
The Bravehearts lived up to their name but the Kiwis just had too much in the tank to stop at Headingley.
Scotland almost open the scoring in the 3rd minute through David Scott, but it was the defending champions who got the first try four minutes later. Isaac Luke made a break through the middle to release Kevin Locke who found Bryson Goodwin to touch down.
The opening 10 minutes was brutal. Both teams tested each other with some rough stuff, with Matt Russell and Sonny Bill Williams each needing some attention. Scotland had some chances but couldn’t manage to finish off some promising moves.
Danny Brough made a line break on 12 minutes but he threw an intercept and the opportunity was gone. Two minutes later New Zealand were much more clinical, Jesse Bromwich crashing over from short distance to make it 10-0.
Roger Tuiseva-Sheck extended the lead with try on 19 minutes, and then Kieran Foran put Frank Pritchard over at the 26-minute mark. A trademark Williams bust and offload put Shaun Johnson through three minutes later and the Kiwis went to the break 26-0 ahead.
Scotland were lacking the finish, the final pass, to trouble the scoreboard. New Zealand were playing at great speed and offloading at will, with the Celts doing everything that could to hang on. Unfortunately Peter Wallace, one of the Bravehearts’ best at the tournament, saved his worst game for last. But the Scots regrouped at halftime and lifted in the next 40 minutes.
Tuiseva-Sheck broke the deadline nine minutes into the second period with a miracle effort for his second try. Kane Linnet kicked straight at the winger and he then stepped brilliantly and galloped away 80 metres to touch down. Manu Vatuvei got in on the act seven minutes later, but then it was Scotland’s turn to excite the crowd.
It took 64 minutes but when Alex Hurst found the line to score Scotland’s only try the Headingley faithful went wild. This was a crowd certainly behind the underdogs. It was an aberration, however, six minutes later Goodwin getting his double after leaping to take a Foran bomb.
But Scotland’s try displayed the effort they had put in and the fact they never gave up despite the challenge in front of them. The Scots can go home with their heads held high and pride in their participation in the tournament, while New Zealand rest up after emphasising their World Cup credentials. Whoever faces the cruising Kiwis next weekend will have a tough task.
New Zealand 40, Tries: Pritchard, Vatuvei, Goodwin (2), Bromwich, Johnson, Tuivasa-Sheck (2), Goals: Johnson (4).
Scotland 4, Tries: Hurst.