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Andrew Henderson column

Andrew Henderson

By Andrew Henderson
Scotland hooker

Fiji are going to be the competition's dark horses. Nobody predicted their win over France on Saturday. They were awesome, absolutely unbelievable, and have pretty much played us out of the tournament.

All the focus has been on the French as red-hot favourites to top the group, but Fiji have given the World Cup a right shake up and given us a mountain to climb. We wanted them to win but not by that margin. France could amazingly finish bottom of this group.

It's not impossible for us to go through to the semis but it's pretty unlikely as we need a big win against Fiji. Probably at best we're looking for second place.

We really believed in ourselves going into that game, but a lot of our players as individuals let themselves down

We may catch them cold as they have to play just four days after the game against France. If we get a bit of a roll on and we can get the points we need, you never know, but it will be very, very difficult.

We're really looking forward to the game and I'm buzzing about playing back at the Gold Coast with my brothers, performing in front of our home fans with all my mates watching.

The boys are really up for a fight against Fiji. We know we didn't do ourselves justice in our performance against the French. We really believed in ourselves going into that game, but a lot of our players as individuals let themselves down.

We didn't play particular badly, I just felt France were a lot more clinical and their kicking game was far better. Our discipline with the ball was poor and we just couldn't keep with them in the end. The better team won, there's no no doubt about it.


We've had a couple of days off this week so I went home to see the family. I got back on Thursday morning for training and had another really heavy training session on Saturday.

The build-up to the France match was intense as we'd not had much time together, so the days off have been a great reward. I got to see me parents and the missus, while the rest of the boys enjoyed the beach and Iain Morrison tried to top up his tan again.

All dressed up - Henderson brothers don the kilts in Australia
All dressed up - Henderson brothers don the kilts in Australia

There have been a few escapades, too, since we last spoke. We introduced a new game in Canberra called 'Sting Pong'.

You challenge your opponent on the ping pong table, with the loser having to stand facing the crowd with his top off. The winner then gets to smash the ball as hard as he can against his back.

If you have ever been paintballing, then you know the kind of pain and bruising some of us have experienced! Neil Lowe's back was absolutely covered, which is an indication of how poor he really is at table tennis.

Neil also asked for a haircut, so the boys got the clippers out. He only wanted a trim off the sides, but he ended up with a grade zero at the back of his head with a little bit left on top, which he then had to totally shave off. He's now being called Uncle Festa, Dr Evil and Butterbean as he has a very odd body shape, too.

* Andrew Henderson was talking to BBC Sport's George Riley.

Andrew will be filing regular reports from Australia throughout the tournament, which kicks off on Saturday, 25 October.

see also
Fiji 42-6 France
01 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Scotland 18-36 France
26 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Andrew Henderson column
22 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Andrew Henderson column
17 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Scots hope for World Cup progress
14 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Logan back in Scotland cup squad
08 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
World Cup relief for Calderwood
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Henderson trio in Scots cup squad
29 Aug 08 |  Rugby League


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