REACTION: England stars on Australia defeat

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Sean O’Loughlin, Josh Hodgson, Jermaine McGillvary and James Roby gave their thoughts on England’s 18-4 defeat to Australia.

On losing the opening game of the World Cup, O’Loughlin told BBC Two:

“It was as good a side as we were going to come up against. The boys are a little bit rusty and there were quite a lot of errors from both sides and quite a lot of improvements needed from both sides so it was disappointing but we know that there is a lot more in us as there is in Australia.

“But it is not a bad place to start, we are not pleased with the loss but we can take a lot from it.

“Our back three were strong and we dealt with a lot of their kicks well and they carried the ball back well for us and our forwards at times were good. I thought everyone had a real dig. There were some patchy periods in the game from us but the effort was there from everyone.”

On losing Sam Burgess in the first half and England’s effort, Hodgson told BBC Two:

“We lost Sam in the first half which hurts but we need to grow from that. We know that we are a better team than what we showed but we need to be tougher on ourselves as well.

“We are always a team who puts in effort from minute one to minute 80 and we know that but we need to be better in our execution and the field position.”

On his try and the words of coach Wayne Bennett at half-time, McGillvary told BBC Two:

“It’s always nice to score tries but it is not really fun when you are on the back of a defeat.

“He (Wayne Bennett) just said that we were beating ourselves up really and that there were uncharacteristic efforts and we were just throwing the ball and when it wasn’t needed, we were trying to push it by making stupid mistakes but I thought we fixed that in the second half. It was a lot tighter, they got a try but it was a breakaway try so there is a lot to build on.

“It’s a journey, not a destination tonight, so we can a lot from today.”

On improvements, Roby told BBC Two:

“We can take a lot of confidence from that, especially with the way defended our line for numerous sets and we’ve got to take the positives from that. We were a bit unlucky with the penalty where they kicked the goal in the second half and the try at the end was us trying to force something to happen and I’d like to think that we can eradicate them going forward but on the whole, we’ve got to take all of the positives that we can.”

On Sam Burgess’ injury, England assistant coach Denis Betts told BBC Two:

“He’s done his medial ligament so (we are looking at) three to four weeks. We’ve got some good medical people so we are maybe looking at semi-finals.

“We have got lads who haven’t played for a number of weeks and fatigue played a big part (in the game). I don’t think I’ve seen a test match like that for a number of years, that was a real Test tonight and it was a fantastic game to start this tournament off.”

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