The Liam Farrell column: Wayne has set the standards
I was at Anfield earlier this week for the Four Nations launch, and being around the other players and coaches made it feel more real.
I’d never been to Anfield before, and I was impressed.
The atmosphere looks great on TV for Liverpool games, and hopefully we’ll be back there next month to play in the final.
But to do that, we need to do ourselves justice in our three games first – starting with Saturday’s match against New Zealand.
The way the competition is shaping, this is a crucial game for us. Whoever loses could win their remaining two matches and still not be guaranteed a place in the final, so we know what’s at stake. We want to keep our fate in our own hands, and we want to set ourselves up for a good tournament.
We’re also well-aware of the challenge we face. Looking at the other players at the launch on Saturday hit home the quality in the other squads. Thomas Leuluai was there – it was good to catch-up with him.
I said earlier in the week that Wayne Bennett wants all the simple things done to the best we can, and if we can do that we will give ourselves a chance.
When we’ve played and lost, more often than not it’s been because we’ve been dumb with the ball and they’ve just been more composed. Training has gone really well, the lads are all getting on great and the preparation has been as we expected.
Wayne has set us some standards of what he expects, and physically and mentally we’re in good shape going into the Four Nations.
The squad has a lot of depth, and the lads who made their debuts against France did a good job.
We flew out on Saturday morning with the rest of the squad, and I thought it was a decent hit-out for us.
France were firing into us but we held the ball well, and our middles did a good job. Fair play to France, they had a dig and I was particularly impressed by Romain Navarrete. He’s Waney’s type of player all over and he made it tough for us at times, he’s got some good attributes to his game and I’m looking forward to playing alongside him next year.
And mentioning props at Wigan, I’d just like wish Dom Crosby all the best at new club Warrington.
The move came out the blue – I didn’t know anything about it! He’ll be a loss for us, but that’s the nature of the game, people move on and it’s a new chapter for him.