McCormack praises do or die attitude

Scotland coach Steve McCormack praised the do or die attitude of his players after they secured an exciting 26-24 win over Tonga.

The Bravehearts squandered a 20-4 lead and trailed 24-20 as the game entered the last 10 minutes, but Matty Russell’s try and a determined late defensive effort ensured they started their World Cup campaign with a win.

A crowd of 7630 at Workington’s Derwent Park, the biggest attendance at the ground since 1994, saw one of their own, winger Brett Carter, cross for what was Scotland‘s third try, at the end of the first half.

Man of the match Sika Manu scored a brace of tries to help the Tonga fightback, and they hit the front on the hour mark through St Helens forward Willie Manu, until Scotland‘s late show.

McCormack said: “We were never going to give up. We were fantastic in the first half, we kicked the ball really well. 

“In the second half we didn’t have the ball for maybe 30 minutes but that do or die attitude, the crowd really got behind us – it was absolutely fantastic. 

“It wasn’t all about Danny (Brough) tonight, he’s a fantastic player but when it really mattered they dug deep and that’s what we’re all about. 

“We’ve got to improve, no doubt about that. We’ve got the spirit, we’ve got the effort and showed real touches of class and determination at the end.

“We’ve got a bit of improving to do. Italy have been the stand out team of the tournament – it will be another cracker and I hope there will be a crowd like this.”

Scotland return to Derwent Park on Sunday to take on Italy, before they take on USA at Salford City Stadium on Thursday week.

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