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Sinfield calls for England to step up

England captain Kevin Sinfield is convinced his side are making significant progress in their Rugby League World Cup campaign but warns they will need to step it up as they prepare for the knockout stages.
Sinfield calls for England to step up
by AAP

By Ian Laybourn

HULL, England, Nov 10 PA - England captain Kevin Sinfield is convinced his side are making significant progress in their Rugby League World Cup campaign but warns they will need to step it up as they prepare for the knockout stages.

Steve McNamara's men swept aside plucky Fiji in their final Group A fixture at Hull on Saturday, coming from 6-0 down to win 34-12 and clinch the runners-up spot and a quarter-final at Wigan next Saturday night.

Their opponents will be the losers of Monday's final Group B match between France and Samoa in Perpignan, and Sinfield says his players will need to find some more improvement ahead of the game.

"There is still loads for us to fix up," he said.

"We're three in and hopefully we've got three more to go. It's do or die now for everybody.

"We've got to learn some lessons quickly again but we'll roll our sleeves up and get ready for next week."

There were a few worried faces among the near-capacity crowd when Fiji took the lead with Eloni Vunakece's 33rd-minute try.

But Sinfield carved out an equalising score for second rower Ben Westwood just before the break and England ran riot early in the second half with five tries in a devastating 15-minute spell.

"We'd gone very close a few times and I felt we just needed to get one try and it would settle us right in," Sinfield said.

"Half-time probably came at a good time for us. It let us re-group and talk about some things and, as you saw, we were a whole lot better at the start of that second half."

Former Bradford forward Sam Burgess, who missed the previous week's win over Ireland through suspension, had a massive influence on his return and sparked the purple patch with the key moment of the match.

He took advantage of a wicked bounce from Sinfield's re-start to the second half by gathering possession and within 25 seconds had charged over for his seventh try for his country, which went a long way towards him clinching the man-of-the-match award.

"It was brilliant to have somebody like that in your side," Sinfield said.

"We knew what the game was going to be like but for him to really stand up for us was fantastic. He was a worthy man of the match."

Click Here for Engv Fij Match Stats





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