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McCormack - There's more to come
Scotland head coach Steve McCormack believes there is more to come from his side after overseeing yet another nailbiting World Cup encounter.
The Bravehearts followed up their thrilling 26-24 victory over Tonga on Tuesday night at Derwent Park with a 30-30 draw against Italy in Group C at the same venue to remain undefeated.
McCormack was thrilled with the effort of his side, but believes they are capable of improving ahead of their clash against the United States - a match they must win to boost their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages.
"I've got to a stage now where I do enjoy it, probably a few years ago I wouldn't have done but the older you get and the dafter you get you start enjoying it a bit more," said McCormack.
"I enjoy watching a team that gives absolutely everything. As a team that's twice in four days that we've given absolutely everything.
"If we can mix that with a bit of skill like we've shown, then we've got a chance of getting to the quarter-finals on Thursday without playing exceptionally well.
"We're looking forward to what's going to be a fantastic game, USA have been one of the outstanding teams of the competition so far, so that's looking to be a magnificent game."
Tries from Matthew Russell and Kane Linnett had helped Scotland to a 14-0 lead but as against Tonga - where they let a 20-4 lead slip to trail 24-20 before inching to victory in the closing stages - they were pegged back.
Cameron Ciraldo and Raymond Nasso both crossed the whitewash to cut the deficit to two points at half-time although Scotland extended their lead thanks to tries from Danny Addy and Ben Hellewell either side of Nasso grabbing his second for the Azzurri.
But McCormack's men were appearing to look a little jaded, perhaps as a result of their exertions against Tonga, and Italy went ahead thanks to scores from Chris Centrone and Anthony Minichiello.
However, Italy's right flank, where Scotland had found joy in the second half, was exposed again and Hellewell scored his second try to level up proceedings, with influential Bravehearts captain Danny Brough failing with the boot for the first time in the game.
Brough and then Italy scrum-half Ryan Ghietti both failed with late drop goal attempts to ensure the spoils were shared, a result that McCormack had no complaints with.
"I think both sides had some real good spells in the game. We started the game really well and then they took control of it and then we fought back fantastically," he said.
"I think that's probably a fair result for both sides. I think there were opportunities to sneak it (but we just could not do it)."
Italy head coach Carlo Napolitano highlighted the character of his side after they battled back from an early deficit.
"I think especially after going 14-0 down we had an uphill battle and we showed great character," he said.
"The perfect rugby league game is when you're winning and there are no mistakes but in our game there were a few and we'll have to work on them.
"There are areas that we've already addressed with the boys, but we just showed great character."
The Azzurri, who were denied a hat-trick of wins against British opposition in recent weeks after beating England in a friendly and Wales in their opening match of this competition, face Tonga in their final group match next Sunday.
A win should be enough to see them through to the knockout stages as they currently possess a greater goal difference than Scotland, with only one team qualifying from Group C.
Yet Napolitano is hopeful Scotland's late fightback will not cost them dear.
"It's not cost us anything apart from a point. Apart from that we were a bit unlucky with a few of the decisions. But this is rugby league," he added.