Carrick rugby coach Gordon Brown has spoken of his pride after seeing his clubs coach Mark Bennett come so close to becoming a Scottish hero at the World Cup on Sunday.
Bennett’s try with five minutes to go had the Scots dreaming of a famous World Cup quarter final win over Australia but a controversial last minute penalty handed Australia a 35-34 win.
Bennett helps out the Carrick backs and Brown has spoken of his influence on many of the younger members of the squad before.
He said: “Like everybody else I was on the edge of my seat when Mark went over for that try.
“I was at my Mum and Dad’s and had my niece with me and I think she thought I’d lost the plot when that try went on.
“I know plenty of us have blamed the ref but I’m going to be controversial and say I think Scotland were a bit naive and could have controlled certain things a bit better.
“However, that’s taking nothing away from Mark and the boys, they were so unlucky and everyone here at Carrick is extremely proud.
“Mark is well respected at Carrick and I’ve said before that he loves coming here to get away from things.
“I’m sure some of the lads will be giving him some stick about his fumble when Finn Russell passed to him but they’ll also be praising his try.”
Gordon is confident Mark can play his part in taking Scotland forward over the coming years.
“I’ve known Mark since he was 13/14 and you look at how well he is playing at only 23.
“He’s got two maybe three more World Cups in him and along with the likes of Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell, Scotland now have players who can unlock defences.
“Scoring in a World Cup quarter final at this age is great and who knows he might go onto top that some day.”