England uplifted by the nation’s backing
England half-back Rangi Chase has been stirred by the fantastic level of support the home nation has received so far during Rugby League World Cup 2013 and is looking forward to playing in front of a capacity crowd against Ireland at The John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, on Saturday (2.30pm).
The match was the first in the tournament to post the ‘House Full’ signs last week and Chase is hoping that the occasion will be just as good an experience as the RLWC2013 opener in Cardiff last Saturday.
“It was a good atmosphere at Cardiff, a really good atmosphere,” said Chase. “It would have been really nice to get a win for the fans, we are a bit down with that, but now we have to roll our sleeves up and get ready for this week against Ireland.
“But it was an awesome match to be involved in and it was great to see all the fans turn up in their numbers to support the team.
“It is sold out at Huddersfield this week and that is because the Rugby League World Cup is a great spectacle.
“It is good to see all the fans come and witness some of the best talent from around the world playing the game we all love. It should be a great occasion.
“It shows that we are capable of drawing in the crowds and, as long as we can fix a few things up, which I am sure that we will during the week, England can go as close as anyone to winning the World Cup.”
After an encouraging performance against tournament favourites Australia, which was broadcast live on the BBC with one fifth of the country’s entire television audience tuning in, Chase believes England know what they need to work on ahead of another tough group match.
“We have done a review and we know the things we need to address ahead of Saturday,” said Chase. “I think we lost that game ourselves but it is something to build on and there are definitely a lot of positives to take out of it.
“Obviously we would like to improve on things that didn’t go quite right: now it is about getting ourselves right and preparing for another tough game this weekend.”