Bateman: We weren't good enough... but we will learn
John Bateman admits England have some painful lessons to learn before next year's World Cup.
Their hopes of reaching the Four Nations final collapsed yesterday in front of 35,000 fans in London – and a BBC television audience - as Australia ran out 36-18 winners.
Wayne Bennett’s outfit needed to draw or win to reach Anfield and, for 40 minutes, they were in the mix after trailing 10-6 at half-time.
But a three-try salvo inside 12 agonising minutes allowed the Kangaroos to take control and put them on course for a fifth successive victory under Mal Meninga’s watch.
And Bateman cursed the simple errors which were ruthlessly punished by the tourists.
“I thought we had them at half-time, we had them on the ropes and we let them off,” said the Wigan forward.
“We had them at one point, then they’d score off our error, and before you know it you’re three tries behind.
“It’s just not good enough at this level, they come back to bite you, but we’ll learn from it.
“For me it’s annoying, it’s frustrating.”
Bateman admits it was a “dream come true” to face Australia and he did his World Cup prospects no harm with another bustling display.
Despite the results, he saw plenty of reasons for optimism as they look towards the World Cup – preparations which will include a Test against Samoa, possibly in Australia in May.
“Look at the team and the squad, it’s as good as we could ask for,” added Bateman.
“The players are close-knit, and we’ve definitely got something to look forward to.
“Having Wayne coach us has been great and we’re building for next year. Under Wayne, everything is positive.”