By Richard Cowley, Date: 5/7/12
The 2nd game of the rugby league International Origin series showed that England need all the help they can get after going down to the Exiles 20 – 32 in what was a low intensity game of rugby league.
England never really got out of first gear against the Exiles. Short of shelving the game England genuinely need more international games if they are any hope of making an impact in the next years Rugby League World Cup.
English coach Steve McNamara would have been disappointed with the performance of the English team. If they had been playing Australia or New Zealand today the scoreline would have been much worse.
Over the last few years the Rugby Football League along with the England coaching staff have been doing all they can off the field to assist the English players build towards next years World Cup. More internationals, more team bonding sessions, reducing the overseas player quota to bring more English players into Super League. All these changes has made little impact on the pitch.
England’s only hope will be the availability of their Australian based players at the end of the season. With these players on board England will surely put in a much better performance. What will hurt England is not being able to play Australia or New Zealand at the end of 2012. In many ways England will be going 2013 World Cup untested which will be making the RFL nervous as they need a strong performance from England during to World Cup.
The Rugby Football League also need to work on their marketing of the of International games. The stadium looked half empty which added to the lack of atmosphere. It’s always hard for players to lift the intensity of the game when they see empty seats at every turn. Lets hope they get it right before the 2013 Rugby League World Cup
ENGLAND (10) 20
Tries: Atkins, Charnley, Briscoe, Cudjoe Goals: Brough 2
EXILES (16) 32
Tries: Hodgson 2, Dureau, Monaghan, Meli 2 Goals: Hodgson 4