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Ireland ready for battle with England at League World Cup

After defeat against Fiji, Mark Aston’s men are hoping to bounce back against the English.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9upI12gz4Us&feature=youtu.be

YouTube credit: Rugby League World Cup 2013

IRELAND FACE ANOTHER tough test in Group A of the Rugby League World Cup as they prepare to face England this afternoon, five days after a bruising defeat to Fiji.

Mark Aston’s men failed to handle the physicality brought by Fiji in Rochdale on Monday, with winger Akuila Uate running in a hat-trick. Next up for Ireland is an English team that includes star names like Sam Tomkins. Things aren’t going to get any easier at The John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield at 2.30pm.

However, English-born Ireland forward James Hasson is trying to stay positive as his side face into a game they simply cannot afford to lose if they have any ambitions of progression in the tournament.

“It is a must-win game,” Hasson told the official RLWC2013 website. “But we can’t think like that. We just have to carry on as we were. We need to believe in ourselves and believe that we can beat England and keep going as we were.

We were a bit deflated after the Fiji game but at the same time we can’t be too down because we know we put a good performance in. We were quite happy with how we played and there is a short turnaround before the England game so we have got to keep our heads up and prepare.”

Ireland didn’t play any friendly fixtures in the build-up to the World Cup and Hasson says they certainly felt that in the opening stages of the Fiji loss.

“We didn’t have a warm-up game so we were still learning how every individual plays but I feel we know that now, and we have set the bar for how we should be playing against England and Australia.

“We could definitely improve on our attacking. We need to create more chances and when we get them we need to take them.”

YouTube credit: Rugby League World Cup 2013

England also come into this game after defeat, having gone down 28-20 to Australia at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff last weekend. Fullback Tomkins is eager for redemption against Ireland.

“Our preparations for the game are coming on well, especially off the back of a good performance against Australia,” Tomkins told AFP. “We have reviewed the game and seen where we came up short so we will put that right and I think we will be in really good shape.

We gave Australia too much of the ball so we need to keep hold of it a bit better against Ireland but our completion rate was really good when we did have it. We probably let them off the hook a bit with a couple of penalties so our discipline will also be something we are looking to improve this week.”

If you’re not a fan of rugby league but have been looking to check out the sport, this game presents the perfect opportunity.

Like rugby? Follow TheScore.ie’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >

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Murray Kinsella

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