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Highlights and talking points: Maizen magic and NRL star lead Italy to victory against Scotland despite best efforts of Hull KR and Salford Red Devils stars

Italy’s hopes of making a first World Cup quarter-final are well and truly alive after a brilliant attacking display led by winger Jake Maizen saw them easily dispatch Scotland to begin their World Cup with a 28-4 win.


Russell has try denied
Scotland thought they had the lead early in the game when the probed near the Italy line. Luke Bain showed great footwork to try and reach out to score. The ball came free though and Liam Hood picked out Matty Russell to score. But both Russell and Bain would be denied with Bain lose of control ruled as a knock on.

Polselli pounces
Luke Polselli got Italy’s first points of the tournament and the first points of the game as he chased a probing grubber kick and pounced on the ball just before it went dead.

Probing Parata pours misery on Scottish
After that simple try, it was again a simple effort that unlocked the Scottish defence. This time a darting run by Dean Parata coupled with some jinks within a weaving run, so he squeeze over and touch down.

Italy stretching the Scots but making errors
Italy should have had a bigger lead at the break when they stretched Scotland outwide and carved through only for the final pass to Jake Maizen not sticking after Luke Polselli and Daniel Atkinson had made space with some great shape.

Ferguson frustration
Things only got worse for Scotland when ex-Wakefield and Huddersfield forward and skipper Dale Ferguson was sin binned for a dangerous tackle.

Maizen makes amends
After bombing that chance, Maizen would finish a lovely move started by Luke Hodge to go in at the corner to extend Italy’s lead to 18-0.

Maizen makes it two
After Italy had carved through the bravehearts’ heart, Italy went down the blindside with Polselli picking out Maizen who had the simple job of finishing in the corner to make it four tries for the Italians.

Bailey Hayward thinks he’s scored but no video referee review sees no try given
Scotland were quite clunky in attack, so any try looked like it was going to come from a kick and Bailey Hayward thought he had scored when he followed his own kick and after an error grounded the ball. However, no video referee was required with the official adjudging that the ball had been caught cleanly in the in-goal and a 20 metre restart was given.

Tricks, flicks and slips
Scotland had been struggling for 70 minutes to find a spark in attack but as they entered the last 10 minutes, they strived to get Salford star Ryan Brierley into space. He was swarmed by defenders so was forced to jungle the ball. He managed to flick the ball out where it was flicked back by a boot and caught by a winger as the Scottish attack again slipped up as they looked to strip Italy for numbers.

Best from Scotland still comes up short
Scotland needed a try and conjured up a brilliant play with St Helens’ James Bell popping Hull KR bound Sam Luckley through a gap. He offloaded to Hayward who found Brierley. The Salford man chipped ahead for what would have been a brilliant try only for Italy to get the ball out of play.

Magic Maizen
On his debut, Jake Maizen wrapped up his hat-trick with the best of the lot. After great defence from Italy forced an error 10 metres out from their line, Maizen jinked round tired Scottish defenders and showed great pace to go the length of the field.

Scotland’s Quarter-Final hopes all but over
Scotland’s hopes of making the quarter-finals are all but over after that defeat. Next week they take on holders Australia and defeat there would secure their fate.

Nathan Brown the glue that holds Italy together
Like Victor Radley for England yesterday, Nathan Brown was the glue that held Italy together. The New South Wales representative and Paramatta man was at the heart of everything.

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