McCormack eyes Scots boost
Scotland coach Steve McCormack says a first World Cup win for the Breavehearts will boost the sport's popularity.
Last Updated: 05/11/08 1:52pm
Scotland coach Steve McCormack says a first World Cup win for the Breavehearts will boost the sport's popularity back home.
Scotland needed a near-miracle to progress into the knockout stages of the World Cup in Australia with a 28-point victory over Fiji required to go through from Pool Two.
Even the victory looked unlikely after Fiji's late try put them ahead, but the Scots fought on and although they went out they at least broke their World Cup duck.
Now finally with a World Cup win on the board, McCormack believes it will help boost the 13-man game in Scotland.
"This will certainly give Rugby League in Scotland a boost." McCormack said.
"It's a developing sport in Scotland and we've been described as minnows all week, and as not having a chance in this game.
"We took that quite personally as a group of Scotland coaching staff and players.
"Hopefully people back in Scotland will see this and know they've got a team to be proud of."
Although it was the loftiest of ambitions, McCormack insisted his side fully believed they could beat the Fijians by the 28 points needed to go through.
"We believed that 100%," he added.
"We knew it was a big ask but we spoke about it before the game.
"We let ourselves down a bit in the France game with a couple of late tries, but we always knew we could win this game."
Fiji now go on to face Ireland for a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, while Scotland have another chance to improve their standing in the game by going up against Tonga on Saturday in a ranking match.
"We're really excited about it," McCormack added.
"We've earned that right and it will be a fantastic adventure for us."
Fiji coach Joe Dakuitoga - a former Sheffield winger - was disappointed to lose but believes they can wipe the slate clean in time to play Ireland with a semi-final against Australia the prize.
"In the first 40 minutes we just lacked concentration," Dakuitoga said.
"We were better in the second half.
"Scotland had 11 days rest and we had only three, so the boys played well. We're pleased that we go onto the next stage."