James Tamou has been impressed with the USA’s extraordinary journey through Rugby League World Cup 2013, though is looking to bring it to an end when Australia face the Tomahawks in their Quarter-Final clash at the Glyndwr Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, on Saturday (1.00pm).
Beating the likes of France in their warm-up match and the Cook Islands and Wales in RLWC2013, the USA side has won many fans, including Tamou, however the North Queensland Cowboys forward believes that Australia’s form is improving as they look to live up to their ‘tournament favourites’ billing.
“I am actually a bit of a fan of the USA for what they have done,” said Tamou. “Everyone has been talking about their games being so close together, the side they have picked and also their head coach has just come in, so he is brand new, Terry Matterson.
“They have really done well for themselves and I am quite excited to play them to see what they have got, how they came to where they are now.
“It is up to us to go out there and put on our best foot but I think in some cases on the field I am going to be the one standing back watching them, being in awe of them!
“Things have definitely picked up since our first game, we have played a few games since then. We have tweaked a few things and we have worked on things that we need to get a hold of if we are going to make a dent in this tournament.
“We have definitely come out and played a few more games and it has turned out a bit better. In a couple more games hopefully we will get it right when we come up against the other big teams.”
Australia are now based in Manchester after a journey to Limerick, Ireland, to beat the Wolfounds 50-0 in their final Group A game. Tamou enjoyed the trip, and believes that the Australian team are now well settled in Manchester after a lot of travelling in RLWC2013 so far.
“It was good in Ireland, I really enjoyed it,” said Tamou. “I don’t mind the travelling too much, you get to see the countryside a bit, so it wasn’t too bad.
“I don’t mind Manchester as well, everything is close and you have got everything to your disposal, so I am enjoying it.
“We have settled in really well. It is good to have a base of a place where you can always go back and relax and let your hair down. People talk highly of Manchester, even some of the locals from other places we have been to.
“It is quite good and you can see some of the boys enjoying it so we just have to keep on doing what we are doing on the field and hopefully it will turn out good for us.”
Australia head coach Tim Sheens has named his 19 man squad to play USA at Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium on Saturday (13:00)
Cameron Smith (c)