Monday, 4 November 2013

2013 Rugby League World Cup – Group C

3rd November 2013

Scotland 30-30 Italy

Derwent Park Stadium, Workington

I could probably be accused of overstating the obvious with the assertion that Scotland has never really been a hotbed of Rugby League.  There have, I believe, never been any professional clubs north of the border and, beyond Alan Tait, I should struggle to name any Scot who has made any sort of mark on the sport. 

This, I am guessing, is the reason the eligibility rules for international representation appear so relaxed, whenever the Rugby League World Cup comes around.  Can all these players in the Bravehearts’ squad really have Scottish grandparents?  Perhaps so, although I noted only two were actually born in Caledonia: Matt Russell and David Scott.

Both of Scotland’s first two group matches had been scheduled for Workington Town’s Derwent Park Stadium.  This venue is a real old-fashioned gem of a ground, although I should imagine it is some years since it has held as many folks as on this evening (and for Scotland's other match a few days earlier), when in excess of 7,000 attended on both occasions. 

Not that you would have guessed it early on, for the first 20 minutes or so of the game was played to almost complete silence, with the exception of a few tanked-up pockets in the Popular Side Terrace.

Scotland scoring two tries in quick succession livened up proceedings, but by the break Italy had scored two of their own and only trailed 14-12, and I am sure more than few of the Scotland side must have been thinking back to that second-half near-collapse against the Tongans a few days earlier.

But there was little to choose between the teams after the break, both sides seemingly content to almost politely trade tries.  But, when with 15 or so minutes remaining, Italy eased into the lead for the first time, I did begin to feel if the next score went to the Italians there would be no way back for Scotland.

But Cometh the Hour and all that, and a neat slice of trickery from Danny Brough set up a flowing move which resulted in Ben HELLIWELL touching down to level the scores at 30-30.  Regretfully Brough’s previously infallible boot failed to garner the extra 2 points. 

Both sides fashioned optimistic, but unsuccessful, drop-goal attempts in the closing minutes, but I think a draw (a rare thing in league, I should think) was a fair outcome.

However, given the current form of the respective opponents Scotland & Italy face in their final matches, I should imagine our south European cousins will be the more satisfied outfit with the draw this evening.  

Derwent Park Stadium, Workington.

Scotland during the pre-match preliminaries.
The tartan shorts brought to mind an all-tartan strip
Greenock Morton sported some years back.  

Derwent Park Stadium, Workington.

Belting out "Flower of Scotland"

Scotland v Italy - 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Scotland v Italy - 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Scotland v Italy - 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Scotland v Italy - 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

The impressively hirsute Brett Carter had a hand
in a couple of Scotland's second-half tries. 

Derwent Park Stadium, Workington.

Matty RUSSELL about to score the game's first try.

Scotland celebrate Matty RUSSELL's opening try.

Scotland's Ian Henderson attempts to weave through.

Italy's Cameron CIRALDO picks up to score his side's opening try.

The Scotland team after the match saying "Thanks, Folks"
Panorama of Derwent Park Stadium, Workington.

1 comment:

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