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Scotland kept their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of Rugby League World Cup 2013 alive with a comeback win over the tournaments surprise package, USA, eliminating Tonga in the process.

Despite having already qualified, the USA made only two changes from the starting 13 that beat Wales on Sunday, and their momentum continued as they ran in two first-half tries through Kristian Freed and Taylor Welch.

Scotland, needing a win to avoid a group stage exit, were quick out of the blocks in the second half, collecting early touchdowns from Brett Phillips and Matty Russell, before Luke Douglas and Alex Hurst added two more.

USA put Scotland under pressure from the kick off and got their reward when Tui Samoa opted to go down the blind side from the play-the-ball before finding full-back Freed who went over in the corner. Despite initially appearing to have been held up in goal, video referee Henry Perenara awarded the try to put USA 4-0 ahead.

Scotland looked to hit back and twice came close to scoring. Ben Hellewell was held up in goal, and immediately after Hurst touched down but the referee ruled the pass from Danny Brough was forward and disallowed the score.

The USA doubled their tally when Craig Priestly poked a grubber kick in goal, which was pounced on by Welch; however Joseph Paulo was again off target with the conversion.

Scotland seemed to have open their account when Danny Brough darted through the USA defence and touched down under the posts but the video referee was called into action for a third time and disallowed the try for obstruction.

But it was a different story after the interval. The Scots finally posted their first try of the game 10 minutes into the second half when Brough managed to find Phillips who powered through the USA defence to give them a way back into the match.

The crowd raised the volume and Scotland raised the tempo scoring their second try soon after. Brough, who was again orchestrating their play, passed to Russell, who breached the USA defence to go over underneath the posts. Brough added the extras to give the Bravehearts the lead for the first time in the game.

Scotland kept up the pressure and came close to increasing their lead when Hurst scooted over the line from dummy-half. However, the try was disallowed out by the video referee, as the winger was ruled to be in touch before grounding the ball.

The USA looked to hit back when Matthew Peterson headed for the corner, but an excellent tackle by David Scott forced him to fumble and hand possession back to the Bravehearts.

Scotland gave themselves some breathing room when Douglas took the ball from Broughs quick tap and drove to the line, Brough landing his second conversion to make it 16-8.

With the last play of the game they added some gloss to the score line when Hurst found himself on the end of another Brough pass to go over in the corner, the stand-off wrapping things up with the conversion.


1 Matty Russell

2 Alex Hurst

3 Ben Hellewell

4 Danny Addy

5 David Scott

6 Danny Brough

7 Peter Wallace

8 Adam Walker

14 Andrew Henderson

10 Luke Douglas

11 Brett Phillips

12 Dale Ferguson

13 Ben Kavanagh


15 Alex Szostak

16 Mitchell Stringer

17 Oliver Wilkes

18 Sam Barlow


1 Kristian Freed

2 Bureta Faraimo

3 Taylor Welch

4 Michael Garvey

5 Matthew Peterson

6 Joseph Paulo

7 Craig Priestly

8 Mark Offerdahl

9 Tui Samoa

10 Eddy Pettybourne

11 Clint Newton

12 Matthew Shipway

13 Daniel Howard


14 David Marando

15 Roman Hifo

16 Haveatama Luini

17 Judah Lavulo

Referee: Thierry Alibert (France)

Scotland 22 (Tries: Phillips, Russell, Douglas, Hurst; Goals: Brough 3)

USA 8 (Tries: Freed, Welch)

Attendance: 6,041
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