England aim for positive finish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England aim for positive finish

Ian Laybourn 02/11/2010 10:31:04 AM Comments (0)

England's players have returned to New Zealand vowing to produce a rousing finish to their disappointing Four Nations campaign.

Back-to-back defeats by the Kiwis and Australia have condemned Steve McNamara's side to a wooden-spoon decider against Papua New Guinea in a curtain-raiser to the Australia-New Zealand final dress rehearsal at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Kumuls, who secured their promotion to the top table of international rugby league after winning the 2009 Pacific Cup, have looked out of their depth so far, conceding 118 points in their two matches.

But Sydney-based forward Gareth Ellis insists England will treat them with respect.

"We're professional players," he said.

"We've got a job to do and we'll do all the right things to prepare for the game and hopefully finish on a high.

"We want to do the right thing by Papua New Guinea by giving them the respect that they deserve. It's Four Nations and not the Tri Nations any more."

England's other Australian-based forward, Sam Burgess, who has yet to reproduce his South Sydney form for England in the tournament said the tourists will be taking Saturday's game seriously.

"You don't get that many times in your career to pull an England jersey on," said Burgess.

"We've got to enjoy every time we do that and really make the most of it.

"I'm going to be upbeat this week and excited about playing the PNG."

The performances of Ellis and Burgess in the NRL over the last two years raised the profile of English rugby league in Australia but comprehensive defeats in Wellington and Melbourne have failed to eradicate the memory of England's woeful performances in the 2008 World Cup in the southern hemisphere.

"There have been two disappointing games really," said Ellis.

"It's hard to see at this moment in time any positives other than the talent that we've got and the glimpses that we've shown.

"It's just unfortunate that we're still not capable of playing for 80 minutes, although we're doing all the right things to build a game for ourselves.

"It is hard to keep saying that we're improving and that we've got potential.

Twelve months ago we were in the Four Nations final but this year it's not to be.

"The important thing is we've got a young group of players and they have got to remain aware over for the next 12 months what it takes to play at the top level.

"Hopefully I'll be back as well and hopefully I'll improve and add a little bit more to the England team.

"We need to improve and the sooner the better because I'm getting to the wrong side of 30."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news