Luke Douglas’s last charge of his professional career, which saw him score for Scotland from 20 metres out, ensured that the Bravehearts qualified for their fifth World Cup, with a 42-24 triumph over Greece in London. The retiring prop, who played the full 80 minutes to great effect, sealed a terrific personal performance with the conversion to his touchdown, the first goal of his illustrious career,
Scotland were made to fight all the way by a committed Greek side, who were level 24-all with 15 minutes left to play. From that point on however, the Greeks – having failed to find touch with a penalty – saw Scotland dominate.
“I am really pleased with the result although, at times, we put ourselves in a hole by not completing,” said Scotland caretaker coach Nathan Graham.
“All credit to the lads,” he added. “They dug in and got back to the game plan, and we went away with it at the end with some really good play. There were a couple of stand out performers for us; Luke Douglas in his final game was immense, as was Oscar Thomas who was a last minute call up at hooker, played the entire time and came up with some real quality play. Young Callum McLelland on the left also caused all sorts of problems. We have qualified in good style.”
Greece now travel to Serbia, with the winners there claiming the second World Cup berth from Pool B.
“I am very proud of the effort and determination of the players in trying circumstances,” said Greece head coach, Steve Georgallis. “We had chances to put Scotland under pressure but let them off the hook with simple errors. It was an entertaining game played in good spirit.
“Congratulations to Scotland in reaching the 2021 World Cup. We must now focus on our game against Serbia. It will be a tough on their soil.”
GREECE 24 : Terry Constantinou 2. John Mitsias 3. Greg Koutsimporgiogos 4. Mitchell Zampetides 5. Nick Mougios 6. Chaise Robinson 7. Jordan Meads 8. Stefano Totidis 9. Peter Mamouzelos 10. Robert Tuliatu 11. Sebastian Sell 12. Jake Kambos 13. Billy Magoulias. Subs: 14. Kosta Katsidonis 15. Stefanos Bastas 16. Jake Vrahnos 17. Theodoris Nianiakas. Tries: Zampetides (24), Tuliatu (28), Mamouzelos (39), Robinson (55). Goals: Meads 4
SCOTLAND 42 : Alex Walker 2. Matt Hogg 3. Davey Dixon 4. David Scott 5. Will Oakes 6. Callum Mclelland 7. Ryan Brierley 8. Luke Douglas 9. Oscar Thomas 15. Sam Luckley 11. Nick Glohe 12. Ben Kavanagh 13. Dale Ferguson. Subs: 10. Dan Turland 16. Joe Mclean 17. Kieran Moran 21. Liam Faughlin. Tries: Brierley (4), McLelland (11, 46), Kavanagh (17, 69), Scott (32), Oakes (66), Douglas (78). Goals: Brierley 2, Thomas 2, Douglas 1
Referee: James Child (England); Half time: 16-18