Saturday 17 March 2018

Aston: We can turn up the heat on England

RUGBY LEAGUE: Ireland coach Mark Aston believes England are a team under pressure and is hoping to turn up the heat in this afternoon's World Cup group match at Huddersfield.

Both teams go into the game on the back of an opening defeat and Aston is warning that Fiji will be no pushovers for England in their final group match.

Aston, whose side lost 32-14 to the Fijiians in a bruising clash in Rochdale on Monday, seized on England's humiliating pre-tournament defeat by Italy and the attempted cover-up of a subsequent major disciplinary breach in their camp to claim all the pressure is on Steve McNamara's men.

England have since opened their tournament campaign with a 28-20 defeat to Australia and Aston said: "They need to win and, if they were to lose three games on the bounce, they're under the pump because that Fijiian team are pretty handy.

"The pressure is certainly on them. They've had a bit of turmoil over the last couple of weeks, haven't they? Can they handle the added pressure they're putting on themselves with what's happened in camp? We've got a smile on our faces.

"There is no expectation on us, except from ourselves. We are expecting to raise the bar and we are expecting to come away with the result.

"We got a lot of belief out of the Fiji game. If we can get a bit of inspiration from Brett White, who I thought was absolutely immense last week, and be a bit smarter, I am sure we can push them and hopefully just sneak over the line.

"We've looked at England and we know there are areas in there where, if we are clinical and we play to the structure we've talked about, we can break them down and we can get over the whitewash."

England v Ireland,

Live, BBC1/Setanta Ireland, 2.30

Irish Independent

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