Aitken: I Embraced The Rivalry
By Corey Rosser (NRL.com)
It meant little to the final result, but for much of the first half in their Four Nations clash with England the Scotland Bravehearts boasted a perfect record against their arch rivals in the Test arena.
Playing in their first rugby league international against England, Scotland flew out of the gates and led the match from the seventh minute through until the 36th on Sunday morning (AEDT), thanks to a Kane Linnett try and a spectacular contorting effort from Matty Russell which will likely feature on highlight reels for many years to come.
In the end England were comfortable, albeit unconvincing by their own admission, 38-12 winners at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
But for a brief period the Bravehearts could claim to have it over their nearest neighbours to the south, something which Scotland and St George Illawarra Dragons centre Euan Aitken told NRL.com he will never forget.
"It felt so good to start like that, there was a big build-up in our camp about the history between England and Scotland," Aitken said.
"We wanted to come out firing, which we did.
"There is a lot of background between England and Scotland through history and through sport as well, and that really pumped us up for the game.
"Personally I have a made a lot of effort to learn about that history between the two.
"I have definitely embraced the rivalry."
After suffering a 54-12 defeat to Australia in their first game of the Four Nations last week, Scotland showed improvement to foot it with England for the majority of the match.
The tournament newcomers were ultimately made to pay for a poor 13-minute period in the second half which saw England run in four tries, two of which came while the Bravehearts were down to 12 men following captain Danny Brough's sin-binning for a professional foul.
While the loss ends any hope Scotland had of qualifying for the Four Nations final, Brough was upbeat post-match.
"We really had a dig, we let ourselves down in the second half but it was a big improvement on last week," he said.
"There are a lot of positives to take out of today's game.
"We are looking forward to (facing New Zealand next week), we are underdogs and nobody expects us to do anything."