Wayne Bennett, the England head coach, has said that the team need to improve if they are to win the World Cup.
Over the weekend England defeated Papua New Guinea 36-6 in the quarterfinals in a performance that Bennet described as “the good, the bad and the ugly.” However, it was enough to take England through to a semi-final match against Tonga next Saturday.
Bennett said that he is impressed by the team’s attitude and performance in training but is worried about their poor completion rate.
“Of course, I’m concerned,” he said” “Maybe we were just due for a below-average performance and today was the day, I hope. That was the good, the bad and the ugly today. There was some really good defence and some nice build-up with some of their plays, the bad was the lack of discipline with the footy and it was ugly to watch.”
He said that he doesn’t think the team will carry the memory of this performance to their next match. Rather, he will encourage them to focus on the good things they have done at training where they haven’t had “these problems”.
“Their training attitude is great, they’re committed blokes, they train as good as anybody I’ve coached. We’ve just got to get the execution part. We’re doing a lot of things that will take us in that direction. We’re not getting further away from it, we’re getting closer to it. We need to put it right in the game.”
Bennett singled out winger Jermaine McGillvary for praise after he scored two tries to take his total to eleven in ten international appearances, “Everybody said I should put him in the team for the Four Nations last year and him and Ryan Hall were very good,” said Bennett. “He’s just got confident with the players. He’s been wonderful, growing in confidence and belief and starting to realise how good he can be.”