ENGLAND prop Lee Mossop admitted Steve McNamara’s side let themselves down in their 15-14 World Cup warm-up defeat to the tournament’s lowest ranked side, Italy.
The cup final hopefuls, with a sprinkling of talent from Wigan’s double-winning side, failed to register a single second-half point in a poor display at the City of Salford Stadium after England Knights swept aside an arguably more able Samoa side with ease.
The only high point for England fans was the performance of Sam Tomkins, who bagged a brace of tries as Italy, in their first match against England, held on for a heroic win.
“It’s a really disappointed dressing room,” said Mossop after the final hooter.
“We’ve prepared well now for six weeks and to come out after all we have invested as players and produce that is just not good enough.”
The England camp had touched down back in the country from a training camp in South Africa days before and they face tournmanet favourites Australia at Cardiff’s Milennium Stadium on Saturday.
But Mossop denied the England players had their sights set on next week’s much more high-profile test and were trying to avoid injury before the start of their competitive fixtures.
“No way – It’s called a warm-up match for a reason. You have to put everything into it so you go into Australia fighting,” he said.
“We’ve let ourselves down and as a team we were nowhere near good enough.”
England’s next opponents have not played a warm-up fixture ahead of the World Cup but Mossop isn’t expecting his side to catch the crop of the NRL’s finest talent cold.
But he is just as adamant England will be unrecognisable from their showing on Saturday when they kick off under the roof of the Millenium Stadium.
“We have a lot to improve on but we are tight as a group and we want to put it right,” he added. “The only positive from it is if you ever want to lose a game in a World Cuop it would be the warm-up so we’ll put it right.
“We have a tough game against Australia next week and we can guarantee we will be a lot better than that.”
And he also thinks the England players won’t be dwelling on their latest showing this week.
“You can’t – it’s too short of a turnaround,” he warned.
“If we mope about over it then all that will happen is the same will happen against Australia. We’ll review it, forget about it, highlight the things we’ve done wrong and put it right straight away. “
The Cumbrian powerhouse also denied any personal incentive to show his future colleagues what he is made of prior to facing them every week in the NRL.
“Not really. I’m not thinking about that,” he said.
“I just want to win the World Cup with England. What comes after that comes so I’m not thinking about it. Playing for my country is the biggest honour I’ll ever get.”