Aston proud of Ireland effort in their Group of Death

Ireland coach Mark Aston insists his side can be proud of their efforts, despite suffering two defeats in their World Cup campaign so far.

The Wolfhounds were handed the toughest of groups, drawn against Australia, England and Fiji, while the other home nations – Wales and Scotland – have done battle in the highly competitive Groups C and D.

After starting with a 32-14 defeat to Fiji last Monday, Ireland went down 42-0 against England in front of a sell-out crowd at Huddersfield on Saturday.

Aston said: “The group was always going to be tough but we spoke about that, and we wanted to come out of it loud and proud.

“I think we’ve done that so far. Fiji were full of NRL talent, and England have some of the best players in Super League.

“It puts into perspective where we are as a developing nation, and it will serve us well in the future.

“Yes we would have preferred to have been in an easier group, but we’re not going to moan about it.

“That said, I don’t think any of the home nations get the right sort of support.

“We went into camp two weeks ago, and we’ve had maybe 10 or 12 sessions together which makes it very tough.

“If there was more finance, we could have gone away and spent more quality time with each other, but instead it’s kind of just been thrown together.”

Ireland‘s 17-man team included five part-time players, including skipper Liam Finn, and a sixth, James Mendeika, who had spent most of the season in the Championship with Swinton.

Finn said: “We’ll take encouragement from the second half display. England‘s 20 minute purple patch in the first half killed the game off, but our 17 blokes went out and had a good dig.

“They put plenty of pride in the shirt, and that’s all we’ve asked for from minute one.

“If we do that again next week, then we’ll walk away from the tournament proud of ourselves.”

Ireland round off their World Cup campaign with a game against Australia on Saturday, which is being held at Thomond Park in Limerick.

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