Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens claims his side were caught off-guard by England in their tournament-opening encounter at the Milennium Stadium.
Speaking after Australia’s heavy victory against the USA, Sheens highlighted the immense defensive effort from his troops and thanked England for giving them a wake-up call.
“We had our pants pulled down early by England and we are determined that won’t happen again,” he said.
“We showed plenty of determination in defence. We have the best defensive record in the competition at the moment, we’ve worked really hard on that aspect of the game.
“When other sides have been clocking off in the second half I was happy with the way we continued to put the pressure on the USA.”
Sheens spoke about the loss of Billy Slater to injury and said although his side will miss the talismanic full-back, there are options.
“Greg [Inglis] doesn’t mind playing there, he comes to life at fullback. “In fact he crossed around a couple of times today which was good to see too. We have got a few fullbacks but it is still a big loss for us.
“GI [Inglis] will move back to fullback, so one of the three centres who are getting flogged out there on the field will be quite happy to jump in.”
By JOE WHITLEY