England produced a heroic performance against favourites Australia in a thoroughly entertaining opener to the 14th Rugby League World Cup in Cardiff.
Sam Tomkins on the break at the Millennium Stadium.
Steve McNamara’s men responded to a troubled build-up and a humiliating defeat by minnows Italy as they threatened to re-produce their stunning win in the opening match of the 1995 World Cup when they stormed into a 10-0 lead after 19 minutes thanks to tries from threequarters Ryan Hall and Leroy Cudjoe.
They were good value for their lead after rocking the Kangaroos with a combination of aggressive defence and enterprising attacking play and, even after the visitors struck back with four tries in a devastating 18-minute spell, they stayed in the contest to play a full part in a rousing start to the tournament.
The defeat should not damage England’s hopes of getting out of the group, although it almost certainly means that holders New Zealand – Sonny Bill Williams and all – will stand in their way of reaching the final and a mouth-watering re-match with Australia.
The Australian Rugby League team return to Manchester this week where they are hosted by Mancunians on Wednesday. Head Coach, Tim Sheens and assistants Alex Corvo and David Furner – the three senior Kangaroo coaches – will stage a coaching seminar to give aspiring coaches an insight into what it takes to prepare a team for a World Cup.
Tickets are available here for only £5 and are expected to sell quickly. Don’t miss out!