I was pleased to get my chance against Scotland at the weekend. Having missed out on the Tests against France and New Zealand, I didn’t want to go through the autumn internationals without playing a game.
Ultimately, it was a convincing win but there was pressure to perform and – certainly for the first 25 minutes – we didn’t do that. We were slack in defence, we made errors with the ball and we were probably guilty of disrespecting Scotland a little bit.
It was up to us – the coaching staff had drilled it into us to approach the match with the same intensity as if we were playing Australia or the Kiwis, and we didn’t do that.
We improved to take the lead by half-time and, in the second-half, we pulled away a bit. I’m putting a bit of a downer on it, I know we won by 26 points, but we were disappointed because we know we can be better than what we showed.
George Williams added a buzz in the second-half.
He can play in a structure, but he’s also very good at reacting to what’s in front of him, and he showed that with the two tries he set up for Mark Percival and Ryan Hall.
Then, at the end, he managed to get me over for a try to finish the game.
It wasn’t a called move – I’ve played alongside him at Wigan to be able to read what he’s going to do, and I thought: ‘It’s either a long cut-out pass or a stab-through’. I gambled on the kick and fortunately, I got it right and it bounced up nicely for me.
We got back into camp last night after a couple of days off, and there’s a real vibe ahead of our game against Australia on Sunday.
I last played them two years ago and I’m hoping I’ve done enough to keep my place though, as I’ve said before, I’m not taking it for granted because there are so many talented players in the squad.
I know some people are saying the final places could go down to for-and-against, but we’re not thinking about that. I don’t think it will be mentioned at all this week.
It’s a tough enough test to beat Australia without even thinking about points margins.
We can’t moan about the position we’re in because it’s self-inflicted – it’s down to us losing to New Zealand and not winning convincingly enough against the Bravehearts.
Our focus will be on playing the way we want to play, because we’ve not done that yet – certainly not for as long as we want.
Australia probably weren’t at their best in the second half against New Zealand on Saturday but they always seemed in control.
That will be a key for us this weekend, trying to ensure they don’t get in front, because once they’re in that position it’s hard to wrestle it back.
They’re so good at doing the basics right and, as I’ve said before, in these games, it’s often not about the Superman plays but about the simple things: kicking long, building pressure, keeping errors down, and doing the simple things really well.
I know they’re expecting a huge crowd on Sunday and it will be great to play at the London Stadium again, after facing the Kiwis there last year.
We’ll be doing everything we can to get the win.