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Scotland and Italy played out a thrilling draw at Derwent Park, Workington, to maintain their respective unbeaten records in Rugby League World Cup 2013, leaving both sides in with a chance of qualifying to the knockout stages.

Neither side got off to the quickest of starts, exchanging sets of six until Matty Russell found a gap in the Italian defence to open the scoring, and Kane Linnett pounced on a Josh Mantellato fumble, before the Azzuri hit back with tries from Cameron Ciraldo and Ray Nosso to leave Scotland 14-12 up at half time.

The second half saw Scotland and Italy exchanging tries through Danny Addy, Ben Hellewell, Nasso and Chris Centrone before the Italians took the lead through Minichiello only to be pegged back by Hellewell, with neither side able to score what would have been match-winning drop-goals.

Scotland struggled to challenge the Italian line, and at the third time of asking, Danny Brough kicked to goal to give Scotland a 2-0 lead.

Recognising the momentum built after his penalty, Brough overruled a call from the touchline to kick for goal. The decision paid off two minutes later when Russell jinked through the Italian defence to score the opening try of the game after lengthy deliberation from the video ref.

Scotland added more pressure onto the Italian defence when Peter Wallace took over positional kicking duties to kick a forty-twenty.

Scotland extended their lead when Brough dabbed a kick through, and after rebounding off Mantellato and James Tedesco, Linnett pounced on the ball to give Scotland a 12-0 lead before Brough expertly added the extras.

Italy, who had failed to significantly test Scotland, carved out their first opportunity when Ryan Ghietti looked out wide for Mantellato, but the kick was plucked out of the air by Alex Hurst.

Italy did get on the scoreboard shortly after however, when Ghiettis miskick was collected by Ciraldo who managed to quickly gather and touch down to bring the Azzuri back into the game.

After more pressure from Italy and another penalty awarded just 10 metres out, Nasso drove to the line from dummy-half with the Scots unable to stop the hooker from going over, with Mantellato adding the extras to leave the Italians two adrift at the break.

Scotland started the second half in perfect fashion when Broughs high kick was taken down by Brett Carter who offloaded to Hellewell who found Addy inside to score in seemingly unlikely circumstances.

Italy responded immediately and closed the gap once again in a carbon-copy of their second try, as Nasso ran over from dummy-half.

Italy could not stop Scotland restoring their advantage again though when creator Hellewell became scorer when he received Hursts pass to go over with Brough again adding the extras.

The Azzuri again gave themselves a way back into the match when Guerra showed excellent speed of thought to find Centrone who scored his second try of the game.

Italy took the lead for the first time in the game when the ball popped up in the air from Tedescos grubber before Minichiello pounced before Mantellato extended the lead to four points.

As the clock ticked over to 70 minutes, Brough showed just why he was awarded Super Leagues Man of Steel when he collected his own speculative kick from the halfway line. The kick triggered what was arguably the try of the game as Hellewell touched down to level the scores.

With just minutes remaining Scotland had the first opportunity to win the game when Brough found space to kick a drop-goal, but his attempt was scuffed and Italy came away with possession but found their own drop-goal attempt to be unsuccessful to leave both sides with a share of the spoils.


1 Matty Russell

2 Alex Hurst

3 Ben Hellewell

4 Kane Linnett

5 Brett Carter

6 Danny Brough

7 Peter Wallace

8 Adam Walker

9 Ian Henderson

10 Luke Douglas

11 Danny Addy

12 Dale Ferguson

13 Ben Kavanagh


14 Ben Fisher

15 Brett Phillips

16 Mitchell Stringer

17 Oliver Wilkes


1 Anthony Minichiello

2 Josh Mantellato

3 James Tedesco

4 Aidan Guerra

5 Chris Centrone

6 Ben Falcone

7 Ryan Ghietti

8 Anthony Laffranchi

9 Dean Parata

10 Paul Vaughan

11 Mark Minichiello

12 Cameron Ciraldo

13 Joel Riethmuller


14 Kade Snowden

15 Ryan Tramonte

16 Brendan Santi

17 Raymond Nasso

Referee: Henry Perenara (New Zealand)

Scotland 30 (Tries: Russell, Linnett, Addy, Hellwell 2; Goals: Brough 5).

Italy 30 (Tries: Ciraldo, Centrone, Nosso 2, Minichiello; Goals: Mantellato 5).

Attendance: 7,280
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