England V Scotland is a international derby which will be contested in senior rugby league for the first time this weekend in game 1 of the Four Nations double header being player at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena this Saturday evening. While the two countries have met at youth levels this meeting is history making and shows how far Scotland have come since their full international status was rewarded 20 years ago although none of this will be on the minds of anyone invovled in the scotland camp when kick off time arrives.
Last Time Out
England had a heartbreaking narrow defeat in their opening game of the competition against New Zealand at John Smith Stadium in Huddersfield. England may find themselves hard done by especially as they started and finished the better side but the Kiwis had the better of them during the final 20 of the first half and first 15 minutes of the second half and that’s where they won the game. Shaun Johnson’s drop goal was the difference between the two sides which came 15 minutes from time, England had a few opportunities to take the drop goal and take the draw but they decided to go for the win on each occasion and couldn’t take the spoils
Scotland started their first ever major tournament outside of the World Cup with the toughest possible challenge as they took on Australia. The Kangaroos rested several players including Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis but they were still too far too strong for Scotland. The Aussies were 30-0 up near the end of the first half but history occurred when Ryan Brierley crossed for Scotland’s first try. It was Brierley’s first try for Scotland on his international debut. Scotland competed more in the second half and were level at 6 all in the half for long periods. The final score was 54-12 to Australia and the bravehearts were tamed.
Players to watch
England’s strength will be in the forwards even with James Graham out “rested”, The English have a world class pack which could see captain Sam Burgess moved from loose forward to the prop.
Scotland will rely on their halves in Danny Brough and Ryan Brierley although reports in the Australian media are that Lachlan Coote could replace Brierley in the halves after he picked up a knock on his ankle in the first half against Australia.
England should have far too much for a spirited Scotland side who will be looking to cause an upset on the international stage – England by 36.
John Bateman, George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Liam Farrell, Luke Gale, Ryan Hall, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson , Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Mark Percival, Dan Sarginson , Scott Taylor, Kallum Watkins, Elliott Whitehead, George Williams
Danny Addy, Euan Atkin, San Brooks, Danny Brough, Tyler Cassel, Lachlan Coote, Luke Douglas, Dale Ferguson, Ben Hellewell, Liam Hood, Ben Kavanagh, Kane Linett, Frankie Mariano, Brett Phillips, Callum Phillips, Matthew Russell, Dave Scott, Lewis Tierney, Adam Walker.