Lockyer wary of 'flat build-up' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer wary of 'flat build-up'

By Steve Jancetic 29/10/2010 06:33:28 PM Comments (0)

Australian skipper Darren Lockyer fears the Kangaroos could be setting themselves up for a monumental fall if they buy into the general apathy surrounding their Four Nations clash against England.

So concerned is Lockyer that he will address the squad before Sunday's AAMI Park encounter to ensure complacency is not an issue, with Australia to run out as $1.10 favourites with bookmakers.

A win will see the Kangaroos book a berth in the final, but a loss would leave them needing to beat New Zealand in Auckland next week to progress to the decider.

"It's been a bit of a flat build-up, I think people just expect Australia to win," Lockyer said.

"I've seen it many times before - there's a team here that's desperate to win to stay in the competition and we don't want to be in the position where we're going across to Auckland in a must-win game, that's the pressure that we'd like to avoid.

"We just need to be careful we're not complacent and we respect these boys."

England's insipid start in last week's loss to the Kiwis has many predicting a Kangaroos cakewalk on Sunday, but Lockyer said he would not have to go too far back in history to remind the side just how dangerous the visitors can be.

"As the week's gone on I've just felt it's going to be a real danger game for us - you've only got to look at their last two games against us," he said.

"They beat us 16-6 in the second half in Wigan then after 50-odd minutes in the final they were beating us - you've only got to go back to those two performances to remind the boys.

"Everyone's just expecting Australia to win, England's made a heap of changes - I just know from experience that sometimes if it's not addressed we're setting ourselves up for a fall."

For Australian coach Tim Sheens it is another England performance from last year's Four Nations that has him concerned, after the hosts upset New Zealand to qualify for the final.

The Kiwis were heavy favourites to advance to the decider after holding Australia to a 20-all draw and trouncing France, but the English responded to some stinging criticism from the local media to produce one of their best performances in recent times in beating the Kiwis 20-12.

Seven players from that game will be on deck on Sunday, with Sheens wary of another backs-to-the-wall effort.

"I know England last year went in and beat New Zealand when they shouldn't have in the round that they needed to win ... they have to win and we want to win and sometimes that's the difference," Sheens said.

"There's that added bit of desperation and the (predicted wet) conditions could level the field a bit more again."

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