Ireland forward Rory Kostjasyn was encouraged by Ireland’s performance in defeat against England, and wants his team to showcase their abilities ahead of their final Rugby League World Cup 2013 Group A game against Australia at Thomond Park, Limerick on Saturday (8.00pm).
Kostjasyn, who plays his club Rugby League for North Queensland Cowboys, admits that England were the better side last Saturday but he was proud of his Wolfhounds pack, as the Irish were left still looking for their first win of the tournament.
“It was a tough game and I thought that England were really good,” said Kostjasyn. “For that early twenty minute period they kept putting us under pressure, it is credit to the rest of the team that we never gave up and made England work hard for the win.
“We are a tight-knit group here and we are going to keep working hard for the remainder of the tournament.
“Mark Aston told us at half time exactly what he had said before the match, to keep turning up and work hard for the rest of your teammates.
“More so than anything else it was unfortunate that in those opening minutes of the match they got a hold of us and took full advantage of their momentum.
“Sometimes it hard to tell just how well you have played in a match, all I can say is that I ran my socks off and did everything I could possibly do.
“Looking ahead towards Australia we are just going to try and keep doing everything we can to make our country proud. It is important to learn from our last two matches and keep working hard for each other, if we do that you never know what could happen.”
Ireland now face tournament favourites Australia at Limerick, but Kostjasyn believes that host nation England have the quality to beat the odds and win a first World Cup since Great Britain’s triumph in 1972.
“England were really good,” said Kostjasyn. “They have still got a few more players to come back into the side and if they can play like they did out there then they can be a match for anyone.
“Obviously the Australians are favourites, and rightly so, but in the first game England pushed them close. If they can go a step further anything is possible.”
Ireland head coach Mark Aston has named his 19 man squad to play Australia at Thomond Park on Saturday (20:00)
By Josh Barrowcliff