McCormack wants more than just Scottish pride

Scotland coach Steve McCormack was proud of the effort and aggression his team showed against Australia on Friday night in east Hull, but wants them to show their skills and quality too.

The Bravehearts were beaten 54-12 by a slick looking Kangaroos side at the KC Lightstream Stadium, but showed some heart to score two good tries and put in plenty of big hits.

His players’ commitment to the cause impressed him, but he knows that they have other lessons that they must absorb quickly before facing the English at Coventry next week.

“We don’t want to be known just as Scotland who show loads of pride, or as dogged Scotland,” he told reporters after the game.

“We’re in the toughest competition in the world, so we need to improve.

“We all know that. On their day, Australia can do that with any team.

“So I was really proud of the effort, but we’ve got to learn lessons pretty quickly for next week.”

McCormack’s team had a nightmare start to the game, conceding 30 unanswered points as they Kangaroos steamrolled over their often ragged defence.

He was pleased that the Scots sorted things somewhat, and were able to give a better account of themselves, especially in two 15 minute spells either side of half time.

“The start of the game killed us,” the Scotland coach acknowledged.

“We sat back a little bit, and you’ve got to credit Australia for the way they played.

“They were flat and fast, and executed their plays really well.

“I thought that the way our lads dug in for the last 15 minutes of that first half, that set a tone for the second half performance from us.

“So, as impressive as Australia, I thought our lads certainly got better as the game went on.

“We suffered a little bit with our bench at the back end of the second half really.

“A couple of players couldn’t go back on, a couple of outside backs. Our middles had to work hard.

“A tough night, but we’ll get better.”

Centre Kane Linnett was forced to leave the action early with a hip injury, while prop Luke Douglas suffered a head knock.

That curtailed McCormack’s options when it came to the interchange bench, something which he felt affected their display late on.

“As the game went on, we got better and better, and just ran out of a little bit of steam due to our bench at the end,” he said.

“I thought we missed a couple of opportunities with the ball as well.

“We’ll be better [next week], there’s no doubt about that. But I also know that England will be better.

“We can’t for that. I can’t wait to get the lads back in and work towards the Coventry game.”

Former Hull KR prop Adam Walker, who recently depared the Robins, was given pelters by the Robins fans in the crowd, and his every touch was roundly booed.

The way the player responded by playing well impressed McCormack.

“I thought Adam Walker was absolutely outstanding,” he said.

“I thought he was from the first second to the last second he was on the field.

“He took the ball forward, he was aggressive and defended well.

“I’m really proud of the way that Adam has conducted himself tonight, I thought he was outstanding.”

McCormack also hailed Australia, who can call on such depth when it comes to picking their international side.

“You look at the conveyer belt of talent that Mal Meninga (Australia coach) has got to pick from, and he’s an outstanding coach as well.

“You look at that coaching roster that Australia‘s got, and you look at the players who didn’t play today, and they’re pretty formidable.

“They showed that – they were quite ruthless in spells.

“I was really impressed with Australia. They’ll have a good tournament and I’m sure they’ll cause the other two teams some problems like they’ve caused us.”

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