Scotland Rugby League

Date: 20/10/13

Scotland coach Steve McCormack found plenty of positives after his side’s warm-up game against Papua New Guinea on Saturday afternoon at Featherstone.

The Bravehearts went down 38-20 to a well-drilled Kumuls side, who were coached by former Wigan star Adrian Lam.

The Scots, now based in Workington, have nine days to prepare for the first World Cup match, against Tonga at Derwent Park.

“We’re never happy to get beaten, but realistically it’s our first hit out after just a few training sessions,” said McCormack. “There were a lot of positives.

“Callum Phillips made his debut and did really well, we’ve got no injuries and we’ve blown the cobwebs off so overall we’re happy.”

Brisbane Broncos half-back Peter Wallace doesn’t arrive in the country until later today (Sunday), while Danny Brough, the 2013 Super League Man of Steel, played for just half an hour and set up two tries.

“I’m confident we’ve got a competitive team even without Danny and Peter,” said McCormack. “The scoreboard ran away a little bit at the end but we were constantly rotating a lot of players with a view to the Tonga game.

“All the front rowers had equal time and all the nines had equal time”. 

“But we’ve still got Peter to come and Broughy only played 30 minutes. When he was on we looked a very good team. We gave debuts to two other young halfbacks in Danny Addy and Callum and they played very well.

“And physically we won’t come up against many tougher teams than Papua New Guinea.”

McCormack was also delighted with the performance of Matty Russell, who has just signed for Warrington from the NRL’s Gold Coast Titans, while other NRL-based players Luke Douglas and Kane Linnett were given shorter spells.

“Warrington have got themselves a great signing there,” said McCormack.

“As the game went on, Matty got stronger. He hasn’t played for a good few weeks and it was difficult for him today with me constantly changing my pivots as fullbacks like to run off pivots, but as the game got on he got better and better.

“Luke and Kane have only been here for 48 hours. I thought Luke was excellent and you can see why he has played so many NRL games. Kane only got 35 minutes, but both of them are a bit jet-lagged. Come the Tonga game they won’t have that problem.”