Rugby League World Cup: Danny Brough looks to guide Scotland into last eight
Scotland will be out to make their best World Cup even better when they take on USA Tomahawks at Salford on Thursday.
Last Updated: 07/11/13 9:16am
The Bravehearts are the only undefeated home nation after the first two rounds of group matches after a win over Tonga and a 30-30 draw with Italy.
And Scotland can take a step closer to a potential quarter-final with holders New Zealand if they end the USA's remarkable run of success
A win at the AJ Bell Stadium would take the Scots two points clear at the top of Group C and leave them with an anxious wait until Sunday when Italy, who have a superior points difference, play Tonga.
"We have to play well to qualify," said Scotland captain Danny Brough.
"We know we have to score some points. We can only do what we can do. If Italy go and win, it goes down to points difference.
"It will be a bit of a waiting game but we've just got to worry about our performance and try to do a job on a team that's in a bit of form.
"They're probably in a bit better form than us but it's all on the line for us. We will have to stamp our mark straight from the off."
With wins over Cook Islands and Wales, the USA are already guaranteed a place in the last eight and an unlikely meeting with Australia but Brough is not expecting Terry Matterson's men to ease off at Salford.
"I don't think so because you want to go into a quarter-final in good form so I can't see them just turning up," he said.
"It's a World Cup and you're on the big stage."
Matterson's men will be playing their third game in nine days and, as in the build-up to last Sunday's clash with the Welsh, had the benefit of only one training run.
"We've got a nine-day turnaround after this - I don't know how we're going to deal with that," said Matterson, who believes his side face arguably their greatest test.
"This is an opportunity to win our three pool games," he added. "That would be an unbelievable achievement.
"But they're a quality side. It's a real challenge for us because they've got two good hookers and two good halves. I'm really looking forward to seeing how we handle that.
"They've been playing really well. They're a well-organised side and play with plenty of passion."
Matterson is acutely aware of the threat posed by Brough, the 2013 Super League Man of Steel he knows well from their days together at Castleford.
"I spent quite a bit of time with Danny and I'm pleased to see his progress into a leader," Matterson said.
"I loved working with Danny. I thought he was a great talent and it's good to see he's making the most of it."