Meninga backs Australia to improve following England win

Mal Meninga believes Australia have improvements to make as the World Cup progresses.

The Kangaroos’ defence of the title started with an 18-4 victory over England after they endured heavy pressure from the visitors in the second-half.

Josh Dugan’s late try added emphasis to the scoreline, and Meninga was happy with his side’s effort, but believes they can improve further.

“I think both teams have improvement in them,” he said.

“Cameron as an example hasn’t played for a month. Through the course of the competition, both teams will improve.

“It was a really important victory for us tonight because it sets up our campaign and puts England under a bit of pressure.

“I thought it was a great way to kick-off the Rugby League World Cup. The two oldest foes going head to head and it was a great challenge for us.

“We can play better, yes, but I was really pleased with our attitude and certainly our effort.”

Meninga singled out his side’s defence following their opening victory.

“We were under the pump, it was 10-4, England had a lot of field position against us but we kept coming up with really good decisions. We kept on turning up for each other.”