Jamie Peacock Column: My take on the Four Nations

22nd November 2016, 17:25

englandrl

Jamie Peacock Column: My take on the Four Nations

ULTIMATELY it’s been a disappointing Four Nations campaign for England - but I’ve still no doubt that we can win the World Cup next year.

We had one very good performance against New Zealand where the team was unlucky not to win, and then played well in patches against Scotland and Australia.

The key to being successful in the World Cup is to play for 80 minutes - if we do that we’re more than capable of beating both Australia and New Zealand.

It’s not an effort or commitment problem - it’s elementary mistakes that have cost the side. You can’t come up with errors like missing penalties to touch at this level - cut those out and the team absolutely has the capacity to be successful.

The good thing is that the players are fully aware of that, and it’s down to them now to cut those mistakes out. 

I’m also absolutely convinced that Wayne Bennett is the man to help us lift a World Cup. He’s set a good foundation this year in terms of what he wants from the players - how he expects them to play and train.

Give Bennett time, says Peacock.

The New Zealand performance is the only on Peacock was satisfied with.

 

I think it was a bit unrealistic to expect him to come in and oversee immediate success, particularly at international level. 

Sometimes in the sporting world you get to meet people who are deemed to be legends, and you can be disappointed. But Wayne has been everything that everybody says about him and more - and that’s unusual. I’m sure he’s exactly the right man to give us the best shot in the World Cup.

Half-back is clearly still an issue for the side, although I think it’s good that all four players have had that exposure of playing and working together.

Kevin Brown will be better for playing against the Aussies, George Williams the same, Gareth Widdop has done it before and Luke Gale now knows all about what Wayne wants.

Now it’s up to two of those to put their hand up and say “That is going to be my shirt in a England team that wins the World Cup”. 

What should also help next year is a mid-season Test against Samoa in Australia - which will be a tough game for England.

It gets the team together again and gives us another chance to look at those half-backs - it’s a great step forward.

Read Jamie Peacock's regular column in the Mirror and catch up on all the Rugby League news here.