• Rugby League World Cup

Sinfield certain of England response

ESPN staff
November 2, 2013
Sinfield has already lifted one trophy with England this year - the International Origin in June © PA Photos

Kevin Sinfield believes England can recover from their opening World Cup defeat to Australia with victory against Ireland on Saturday.

Sinfield, England's captain, was part of the side that pushed the Wallabies all the way before succumbing 28-20 last weekend.

And they need to bounce back ahead of their final pool game against Fiji.

"Our expectation is greater than anything that anybody externally can put on us," Sinfield said.

"We just want to get out there and perform and hopefully get the competition moving for us."

Saturday's match is the first meeting between the sides since England came from 10-4 down to win 26-16 in the quarter-finals of the 2000 World Cup, and Sinfield is expecting a similar test this time around.

"Ireland are going to turn up and throw everything at us," he said. "We're aware of that.

"We're preparing for the best of Ireland but hopefully they're preparing for the best of us because it's important we go out and play like we can. The pitch out there is in great condition and hopefully we get a decent track tomorrow and both teams can throw the ball about and play some good stuff."

England go into the game as strong favourites but they had a turbulent build-up to the tournament, including the expulsion of Gareth Hock and the non-selection of James Graham for the Australia game.

And on Friday, the team was forced to evacuate their hotel in the early hours of the morning due to a fire alarm.

"It was the smallest of disruptions," Sinfield added. "Everybody went back to bed for another hour. I think the lads saw the funny side of it. Nobody was cheesed off or anything, they just got on with it.

"That's part of the challenge of being in hotels and being together. There is always something like that cropping up.

"The boys have just trained great, probably as well as we've trained for the last couple of weeks. Everybody has got a fantastic attitude towards the game and we're looking forward to playing here in front of a full house.

"Like I said last week, and I'll say it again, the squad is really strong and together and is really committed to trying to do something special for England."

England coach Steve McNamara, who has recalled Graham and has Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin back to offset the loss of Sam Burgess to suspension, is certain Ireland will improve from their opening 32-14 defeat by Fiji.

"We expected Ireland to be very good," he said. "They have got some experienced NRL players and players who are regulars in Super League.

"They know a lot about us and fortunately we know a lot about them."

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