Ian Henderson believes that Scotland’s victory over Tonga last Tuesday night has inspired his team for the rest of Rugby League World Cup 2013 as they look ahead to their next group game against Italy at Derwent Park, Workington, on Sunday (4.00pm).
The Bravehearts overcame a strong outfit in Tonga three days ago, after a try by full-back Matty Russell – his second of the game – put ahead Scotland late before they defended stoutly to deny Tonga a further score.
“It is pretty inspiring for us boys to put the effort in and come away with a win against Tonga,” said Henderson. “It was tough, really, really tough. We got off to a good start in the first half but they threw everything at us in the second half.
“I have never felt momentum change in a match as much as that in my life and it was so hard to contain. My shoulder is killing! They are big humans, they run hard and they are aggressive.
“It is great for us to get a win, we have got great belief in the squad and for us it is just really satisfying to get the win. I am not sure if it makes a difference who the opposition is, we are just happy to be competitive and to give ourselves a chance.”
Scotland will again play at Workington’s Derwent Park, which was the venue for the Bravehearts’ Tuesday night win, and Henderson was delighted with the turnout of fans coming to witness Cumbria’s first ever World Cup match.
“All this crowd, for both teams, was sensational,” said Henderson. “It was a full house, they created a great atmosphere and we have to thank the locals – they came out and were loud, and we enjoyed playing in front of them.
“We are definitely full of spirit, that is something that the Scots have always had and we are passionate in a tough group. We want to be smart with the football too, we don’t want to be known as just passionate hard workers, and hopefully we can string another win on Sunday.
“Definitely the goal for us is to try and make the quarter finals firstly, and we have taken a step in the right direction. We have got a few things to work on, we didn’t play well for long periods of time against Tonga but we are moving in the right direction, we are honest to each other and we just want to keep competing.”
Scotland head coach Steve McCormack has named his 19 man squad to play Italy.