England Rugby: Steve McNamara encouraged by Ireland win

England team 2013 World Cup Rugby league

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England boss Steve McNamara believes his side have set themselves up perfectly ahead of next Saturday’s World Cup showdown with Fiji.

The hosts have had a difficult few weeks, losing to Italy in a warm-up match before second rower Gareth Hock was kicked out of the squad for disciplinary reasons on the eve of the tournament.

However, they restored some pride with last weekend’s narrow defeat to tournament favourites Australia and they got back on track on Saturday with an impressive 42-0 win over Group A minnows Ireland.

In truth the Wolfhounds never troubled McNamara’s men, as winger Ryan Hall ran in a first half hat-trick, while his new Leeds team-mate Tom Briscoe grabbed a brace and Brett Ferres also touched down in what was a devastating opening forty minutes.

The pace slowed somewhat after the interval as only Kallum Watkins and Rangi Chase could run in four-pointers but, after a difficult few weeks, it was an extremely impressive performance from England.

With both captain Kevin Sinfield and utility man Gareth Widdop also adding points with the boot, the coach admits he was largely pleased with the performance and feels his squad are now making positive strides ahead of next week’s pivotal clash against the Fijians in Hull.

“We had a lot of possession in the first half and made the most of it
– it was good to get a good lead,” he told BBC Sport. “I’m relatively happy. We’ll have our normal review of the game, will crack on with that and get ready for the tough game with Fiji next week.”

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