England Rugby League: McNamara issues improvement warning

Steve McNamara England Coach Rugby League world cup

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England coach Steve McNamara has warned his players they will have to improve on their display in Rugby League World Cup when they face New Zealand at Wembley next Saturday.

England endured a poor start at Wigan’s DW Stadium on Saturday night as Vincent Duport scored early on to put Richard Agar’s French side in front.

However two tries each from wingers Josh Charnley and Ryan Hall put England into a healthy 22-6 half-time lead, before Sean O’Loughlin and Brett Ferres extended that advantage after the break to seal a 34-6 victory.

It set up a mouth-watering fixture against the world champion Kiwis in London next week for the right to face Australia or Fiji in the final. And McNamara is in no doubt that England will have to step up their performance from the France game.

“That was very, very scratchy, our worst performance of the tournament,” said McNamara.

“It was a substandard performance. We will need to be a whole lot better next week and we will be.”

However, he added: “Our team play better when there is an element of fear in the back of their minds – the challenging game when they know what the consequences will be if they do not get it right.

“We will review everything that we have done, but there is no massive drama for me.

“We are in a semi-final at the national stadium. I believe there are 60,000 tickets sold already. We know we will need to be a whole lot better and we will be.”

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