Rugby League World Cup: Scotland's Steve McCormack proud despite exit

Scotland's Luke Douglas is left disappointed against Samoa
Scotland went out on points difference after drawing with Samoa
Venues: Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea
Dates: 27 October to 2 December
Coverage: Watch live coverage and highlights on BBC TV, Connected TV, online & the BBC Sport app and listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra.

Steve McCormack expressed his pride after Scotland ended a wretched World Cup campaign on a high with an improved 14-14 draw with Samoa.

McCormack's side went into the tournament ranked fourth in the world after an impressive 2016 Four Nations.

But they suffered crushing defeats by Tonga and New Zealand.

"That for me was one of the best performances Scotland has had for a long, long time with regards to effort," said coach McCormack.

"If you think about the young squad we've got and the first couple of results we had, the resilience, effort, spirit, skill and desire this team showed in every bit of adversity you could have, I don't think there could be anyone as proud as me."

McCormack had lost several experience National Rugby League players through injury and his resources were further depleted when three players, including captain Danny Brough, were sent home for being too drunk to board a flight before their final group game against Samoa.

But they came close to a victory that would have secured a quarter-final against Australia.

Scotland led 14-6 at the break and missed two late chances to record a memorable win, a year to the day since claiming an 18-18 draw against New Zealand in Workington.

Scotland's Danny Addy in action against Samoa
Hull Kingston Rovers' Danny Addy was Scotland's best player against Samoa

Danny Addy was Scotland's outstanding player after taking over from Brough in the halves and missed a penalty that could have booked a place in the last eight.

The Hull Kingston Rovers playmakers said: "I had the chance to win the game at the end and another one with the drop goal.

"But we can be proud - obviously not of the first two games - but of this last performance.

"We owed it to ourselves, the fans and everyone associated with Scotland."

Samoa head coach Matt Parish insisted his team would challenge reigning champions Australia on Friday despite failing to win a game in Group B.

"We're still alive, have got plenty of ticker and had a really wonderful World Cup," he said.

"We haven't probably played as well as we would have hoped, but we're still in the competition.

"We've got a game next week and you'll see some of the Samoan pride and passion in that game, don't worry about that."

In the game to decide the group winners, Tonga secured a surprise 28-22 win over New Zealand.

It means Tonga face Lebanon in the quarter-finals, while New Zealand will face Fiji.

You can follow the fortunes of your favourite team with live match notifications sent straight to your phone or tablet via the BBC Sport app. Line-up, kick-off, score, half-time and full-time options are available for all teams participating at the World Cup.

Top Stories