The last round of group games in the 2016 Four Nations gets underway at Derwent Park, Workington on Friday Night as the Scots look to grab a famous victory over the Kiwis in their “second home” as this will be the fourth time Scotland have played an international in Workington since 2013. The Scots have won twice and drew one and will be hoping to continue that record to continue their slim chance of reaching the final.
Last Time Out
Scotland took on England in the first game of the Bonfire Night double header at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. The Scots took an early 8-0 lead with tries from Kane Linett and Matty Russell. Two tries from Elliot Whitehead and two conversions from Luke Gale allowed England to take a 12-8 half time lead. England put the game beyond Scotland with four tries in sixteen minutes to just after the hour mark leaving the score at 32-8. Dale Ferguson crossed to reduced the deficit as Danny Brough missed his third attempt at goal. Liam Farrell scored in the final two minutes of the game to leave the final score at 38-12.
New Zealand fell to an 14-8 defeat against Australia in the second game of the double header. The Kangaroos were 10-0 up at the break through opening quarter tries from Blake Ferguson and Jonathan Thurston. Thurston converting only his try. The Kiwis hit back in the 49th minute through Solomone Kata, the extras weren’t added. Australia restored their 10 point lead with two Thurston penalty goals in the 55th minute and 72nd minute. A Shaun Johnson bit of magic set up Jordan Rapana up to score and an exciting finish but the Aussies held out and just about secured their place at Anfield on the 20th November.
Players To Watch
Yet again Scotland will have to be on their top form to compete and will rely on their half backs to lead them around the field. Ryan Brierley returns to the 19 man squad after recovering from an ankle injury that ruled him out of the game v England. Him and Brough will be hoping they can use the small Derwent Park pitch to their advantage.
New Zealand have a huge array of players in their squad which can be match-winners, but Shaun Johnson will be the man Scotland will need to try and stop if they want to win the match. Johnson showed just a slice of what he can do in setting up Rapana’s try last week and has showed on several occasions on English soil he could be the best half back in the world.
It could be a cold, wet and windy night up in Workington on Friday which may play in the advantage of the Scots but that shouldn’t hamper New Zealand too much. The Kiwis should win comfortably and look to secure their final place. New Zealand by 28.
Dave Scott, Danny Addy, Dale Ferguson, Ben Kavanagh, Frankie Mariano, Luke Douglas, Ryan Brierley, Danny Brough, Adam Walker, Billy McConnachie, Liam Hood, Ben Hellewell, Lachlan Coote, Kane Linnett, Euan Aitken Matthew Russell, Tyler Cassel, Lewis Tierney, Brett Phillips
Dallin Watene-Zelzniak, Jason Nightingale, Solomone Kata, Gerard Beale, David Fusitu’a, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich, Issac Luke, Adam Blair, Manu Ma’u, Tohu Harris, Greg Eastwood, Te Maire Martin, Martin Taupau, James Fisher-Harris, Joseph Tapine, Lewis Brown, Jordan Rapana