This 5th to 8th place playoff was obviously a home-nations derby, and although England were strong favourites going in, the Scottish team (apparently with a substantial number of north american imports) had been performing much better than expected and had already given Australia a few scares on the previous day. To many people's surprise, the Scottish team actually scored the first two quick goals, and maintained a one- or two-goal lead throughout most of the first quarter, with nimble moves and good running and passing. England managed to pull two back at the end of the quarter, going into the break up at 5-4.
Scotland quickly drew level again in the second quarter, before England settled down and took back the lead up to 10-5. Scotland penalties gave the advantage to England and the English attack worked controlled attacks to finally stretch their lead. Just before half-time, the dark blues pulled one back, after both goalkeepers had struggled with even ordinary-looking shots, making the half-time score a flattering 11-6.
Scotland got another to go 11-7 and England took a long time to exploit the man-up for 12-7. England pushed ahead though with three Lewis Radcliff goals to go up 16-8 at three-quarter time and a much more comfortable scoreline for the English.
Scotland only managed to score one more goal in the 4th, through Jordan Coffey, but England powered ahead and finished with two goals in the last minute from Todd Baxter and long-stick Jak Wawrzyniak, to bring the score to an impressive 23-9. That's a far cry from how it looked earlier at only 5-5 and a huge relief for England to be playing for 5th/6th place rather than 7th/8th.
5th to 8th place playoff
Australia pushed hard on Canada throughout the first quarter of this semi-final game, playing some of their best lacrosse so far of the tournament - pressing hard on attack, and creating shooting chances, plus good defence including an excellent strip of John Grant Jr by John Tokarua. Australia were even leading 2-1, before Canada game back to 2-2 for the end of the third quarter.
Australia took the lead once again but only as far as 3-2, before Canada turned on the style and raced away to 8-3 by half-time. What had they been doing for so long before that?
In the third, Canadian keeper Chris Sanderson was lucky not to be penalised for kicking the Australian attacker's stick in the crease - he was trying (aggressively) to claim interference despite the fact that the attacker's stick got to the ball first. Both teams had more chances in the third, Canada wasting several of theirs trying fancy round-the-back tricks instead of just passing the ball, and the lead shrank to 5 goals at 10-6.
Geoff Snider won plenty of face-off possession for Canada, and scored two beautiful solo goals himself as Canada pulled ahead to 8 goals clear. They still didn't look invincible but they had worn down the Australian defence and controlled the game as much as they needed to. A final, casual stroll past 4 defenders from Corey Small brought the final score to 15-6, and a comfortable slot in the world championship final. Australia must of course still play for 3rd place against the loser of the other semi.
This semi-final game turned into an exhibition match for the USA, with 8-1 at quarter time and 14-1 at half-time. Japan battled hard but they were simply outclassed by the size, power and experience of the USA side. The Japanese defence just didn't have an answer for the versatile and relentless USA attack, and the second quarter turned into a nightmare for their goalkeeper as he kept having to fish the ball back out again from behind him.
Biggest cheer of the match went not to any of the USA's goals but for the heroic check from the Japanese defender Fukozawa to prevent a certain USA shot into an unguarded net. At three-quarter time it was 18-2 but the Japanese were still fighting for everything as though there were only one goal in it. Just that the defenders, who all looked 10% smaller than any of the USA players, kept trying to defend against the fast-moving USA sticks rather than blocking the bodies - so the experienced professional players were just able to skip between the flailing defenders at will.
South Korea 16, Argentina 5
Denmark 9, France 7
Hong Kong 15, Switzerland 8
Austria 10, Norway 4
Bermuda 8, Latvia 7
England 23, Scotland 9
Slovakia 10, Italy 4
Germany 14, Netherlands 1
Poland 15, Spain 11
Canada 15, Australia 6
Czech Republic 13, New Zealand 8
Sweden 9, Wales 5
Ireland 17, Finland 6
USA 20, Japan 5