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Scotland beat US 22-8 in RLWC

Scotland kept their quarter-final hopes alive in the Rugby League World Cup by bringing a tired United States back to earth in a 22-8 win on Thursday.
Scotland beat US 22-8 in RLWC
by AAP

By Ian Laybourn

SALFORD, England, Nov 7 PA - Scotland dedicated their latest Rugby League World Cup victory to veteran hooker Ben Fisher after his career was brought to a shattering halt before kick-off in Thursday night's pool match against the USA.

Fisher, who had planned to retire at the end of the tournament, tore a calf muscle in the warm-up at Salford and, after being helped from the field in tears, was forced to watch on crutches from the sidelines as the Bravehearts came from 8-0 down to win 22-8.

"We knew it was Ben's last game and we're devastated for him," Scotland coach Steve McCormack said of Australian Fisher, who has been playing in the UK Super League since 2004 after starting out with the North Sydney Bears.

"We didn't need a lot of inspiration but, if we needed that bit extra, certainly Ben Fisher was mentioned at halftime."

Scotland trailed 8-0 at halftime after the Tomahawks scored tries through Kristian Freed and Taylor Welch but went on to dominate the match and had five tries disallowed.

"We were pretty desperate in the first half without needing to be," McCormack said.

Brett Phillips, man of the match Matthew Russell, Alex Hurst and Luke Douglas all scored second-half tries and skipper Danny Brough kicked three goals as Scotland finished their pool matches unbeaten.

It means that Tonga became the third team to be eliminated from the World Cup but the Scots will now be needing a favour from them when they play Italy in the final Group C match at Halifax on Sunday.

The Scots are currently two points in front of Italy, who have a superior points difference and will secure a quarter-final against New Zealand at Headingley next Friday if they beat the Tongans.

"We're going to watch it as a team in the hotel and we'll either go to Headingley from there or we'll get back to work," McCormack added.

The Tomahawks, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals after gaining wins over Cook Islands and Wales, looked a tired side in the second half as the effects of a gruelling schedule of three games in nine days began to take its toll.

USA captain and Parramatta utility Joseph Paulo spoke of his side's frustration as they battled against the penalty count of referee Thierry Alibert.

"We tried to hang in there to the end but we couldn't change anything," he said.

"The ref was going to have his way."

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