St Helens star records impressive stats despite Australia thumping

Last night was one of those nights that Scotland players will want to forget in a hurry.

Though there was nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to contemplating the manner of their defeat to Australia.

Up against some of the world’s best players in the likes of Nathan Cleary and co, it was always going to be a case of damage limitation and it was also going to be a chance for the Scottish players to share the field with some of the standard setters of our sport.

In the end, they conceded 84 points as the Australians turned on the style lying down a marker as they go in search of a third consecutive World Cup.

They led 40-0 at the break before averaging over a point per minute in the second 40 to underline their superiority and all but secure their place in the quarter-finals where they’re likely to meet either Ireland or Lebanon.

However, the effort was clearly there from Scotland in front of the over 10,000 fans who showed up in Coventry to see some of the world’s finest players.

That effort was best embodied by St Helens star James Bell. Bell has had an interesting first season with the Champions, initially struggling for game time until he became a sporadic first team player being a major asset as the Champions dealt with injuries.

He featured in the semi-final win over Salford but was unlucky to miss out on Grand Final selection.

After that, he last night demonstrated why he is such an asset to the Champions with an incredibly hard working display and a defensively astute one too.

As many of his teammates struggled to contain the Australians, Bell only missed three tackles which was the lowest in a Scottish jersey and showed that whilst others were struggling to stop the green and golds getting through Bell did not.

No wonder the defensively amazing Champions trust him. More impressive than that is he recorded a huge 35 tackles throughout the game and was perhaps Scotland’s best player on the pitch.

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