NRL 2022: World Cup, Italy, Scotland, Nathan Brown, Eels striker leads Italy to historic victory


Parramatta Eels striker Nathan Brown led Italy to an impressive 28-4 win over Scotland at Newcastle’s Kingston Park to keep alive the Azzurri’s hopes of a historic quarter-final place in the World Cup.

Brown, who is the only NRL player in the Italian squad following the withdrawal of Storm playmaker Cooper Johns, was exceptional as the well-organized Azzurri dominated the Bravehearts in their first World Cup game.

The Italy captain ran 123 yards on 23 catches and had 34 tackles before being awarded an early mark after winger Jake Maizen crossed for his third try seven minutes from full time.

Maizen’s hat-trick capped off a dream international debut for the 25-year-old Sunshine Coast Falcons speedster.

Halves Jack Campagnolo and Radean Robinson, who were called up as a late replacement for Johns, were also influential in the win, giving Italy the chance to advance to the knockout stages if they can beat Fiji .

Match Snapshot

  • Scotland’s best first-half goalscoring opportunity came just in the fifth minute when winger Matt Russell barred wide after recovering a loose ball from Liam Hood only for referee Todd Smith to rule. that the prop had hit while trying to put the ball on the ground.
  • Sunshine Coast Falcons Italian fullback Luke Polselli made the Bravehearts pay soon after when he pounced on a perfectly placed grubber from Central Capras halfback Radean Robinson to score in the 10th minute.
  • Five-eighth Jack Campagnolo of South Sydney converted to give Italy a 6-0 lead and they were never really troubled again.
  • London Broncos hooker Dean Parata extended Italy’s lead in the 22nd minute when he ran out of the fictional half and blasted his way past Scottish prop Sam Luckley to score.
  • Italy had the opportunity to go further when Brown and Campagnolo combined to create an opening for Polselli but he couldn’t handle the pass with the line wide open.
  • Scotland’s hopes of returning to the game effectively evaporated when captain Dale Ferguson was booked in the 38th minute for attacking the ankle of Falcons center Daniel Atkinson.
  • With the Bravehearts down to 12 men, Italian winger Jake Maizen crossed for back-to-back tries to extend his side’s lead to 22-0 before Ferguson returned.
  • Maizen’s first try came after Campagnolo and Atkins combined to create an overlap and he went inside opposite number Lachlan Walmsley to score in the 45th minute.
  • He then crossed three minutes later after a long break from Atkins, who was pulled down the try line by Scotland fullback Ryan Brierley.
  • Maizen then completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute when he sped past Scottish center Ben Hellewell and sprinted 90 yards to score.
  • Walmsley scored a consolation try three minutes later, a deft pass from Dolphins-bound second-row rower Euan Aitken.

what they said

“We knew pretty much everyone had written us off for this whole tournament and that’s what we Italians are about: passion, hard work and fighting to the death. Everything we were talking about throughout week was to fight for 80 minutes. It’s a real honor to captain Italy. We’re in a tough pool. All we know is keep fighting. – Italian captain Nathan Brown

“We didn’t help each other, way too many mistakes and a few bad decisions on our part, myself included, that’s not what you want at the start of a tournament. It will be exceptionally difficult to dust us off because it’s a quick turnaround for Australia, but we need to tear as much as we can and wear some pride on our sleeves.” – Scottish striker Euan Aitken

And after

Italy will face Fiji in Newcastle on October 22 in a match that is expected to decide Pool B runners-up and a place in the quarter-finals.

The Azzurri meet Australia in their final pool game at St Helens on October 29.

Scotland’s hopes of advancing beyond the group stages of the tournament are now all but over as they take on Kangaroos in Coventry on October 21 and Bati on October 29 in Newcastle.


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