England rugby coach sees positives in loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England rugby coach sees positives in loss

Melissa Woods 31/10/2010 11:02:21 PM Comments (0)

England coach Steve McNamara preferred to look on the bright side of a gloomy night for his team, seeing their 34-14 loss to Australia in the Four Nations rugby league tournament as a step in the right direction.

The English were soundly beaten in a six tries to two romp in the rain at Melbourne's AAMI Park, with Australia and New Zealand now set to play in the final.

Despite being winless after two games and with only Papua New Guinea left to play, McNamara felt there was a bright future.

"This team has an average age of 24, the captain (James Graham) is only 25, the other starting frontrower (Sam Burgess) is only 21 and the outside backs probably only have 10 caps between them," he said.

"We came across with the sole intention of winning this competition but it's also about making ourselves a whole lot stronger for the future in international rugby and I certainly think we've made some strides forward within this tournament.

"The players have gained some experiences that will certainly make them a whole lot better players."

England did start well, making inroads through the middle of the Kangaroos defence, and midway through the opening half briefly led 8-6.

But they turned over ball at crucial times with at least three of those errors leading to Australian tries.

McNamara believed his young side physically imposed themselves on the hosts and, apart from those errors, there wasn't a lot between his men and the defending Four Nations champions.

"Physically our forwards, our middle, were outstanding in what they did, I thought there was a whole lot of effort in terms of that," he said.

"There was some frustration from some of our players because some know they can perform a little bit better than what they did on occasion there."

Prop Sam Burgess, who scored one try and had another disallowed, was one of the standouts, his fitness obvious on the back of a season in the NRL with South Sydney.

"I'm disappointed with the way it turned out," Burgess said.

"There was a lot of effort out there but we gave ourselves too much to do."

England had the momentum midway through the half but lost some penetration when he was rested.

"It was tough to sit and watch, quite a few points rolled in so it was disappointing to watch," Burgess said.

"I couldn't wait to get back on, I thought I had a bit of offer."

He also thought his young teammates would learn a lot from the experience.

"Hopefully it will make us stronger, we've got a bit of work to do but we've got a young, new squad so hopefully we'll learn from it and grow stronger together for the experience."

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