Scotland Bravehearts face the ‘Group of Death’ with the emergence of Tonga and superpowers New Zealand in their draw. Could they provide nuisance value like they did with their infamous draw in last year’s Four Nations against the Kiwis?
WHAT TO EXPECT
Scotland’s side has been decimated with the absence of Keith Galloway, Kane Linnett, Lachlan Coote, Euan Aitken and Peter Wallace. Steve McCormack has looked towards the Super League competition to fill most positions in the squad, seven of the side yet to play for their nation. A loss by 50-14 over NSW Country Under 23’s in the lead-up does not go well for their chances to progress past the Group stage.
Danny Brough at 34 is likely to be playing his final World Cup. He had a hand in the famous 18-all draw at Derwent Park against New Zealand by converting 3 of 4 goals. A former Golden Boot winner, Brough will be joined by Danny Addy in the halves and will have a tough task in steering the Bravehearts around the park. His experience will be key to Scotland’s chances.
Luke Douglas has a wealth of National Rugby League experience having played with Cronulla and the Titans, appearing 263 times in the competition. Now at St Helens, the 31 year old is likely to play close to an eighty minute game each match as he leads this inexperienced pack at the tournament.
You would expect Tonga and New Zealand to advance into the Quarter-Finals from Group B. However they may be a slight chance depending on the Kiwis attitude after a disrupted lead-up. A win over Samoa would justify their fourth placed international ranking.
Alex Walker (London Broncos)
Andrew Bentley (Toulouse Olympique)
Ben Hellewell (London Broncos)
Ben Kavanagh (Hull KR)
Brandan Wilkinson (Bradford Bulls)
Callum Phillips (Workington Town)
Dale Ferguson (Huddersfield Giants)
Danny Addy (Hull KR)
Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants)
David Scott (Batley Bulldogs)
Frankie Mariano (Featherstone Rovers)
James Bell (New Zealand Warriors)
Jarred Anderson (Sydney Roosters)
Johnny Walker (Darlington Point Roosters)
Kane Bentley (Toulouse Olympique)
Kieran Moran (Hull KR)
Lachlan Stein (Penrith Panthers)
Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors)
Luke Douglas (St Helens)
Matthew Russell (Warrington Wolves)
Oscar Thomas (Bradford Bulls)
Ryan Brierley (Toronto Wolfpack)
Sam Brooks (Featherstone Rovers)
Shane Toal (Barrow Raiders)