England captain Sean O’Loughlin admits his side are still reeling from Sunday’s controversial loss to Australia but is confident they have what it takes to recover in time to take down New Zealand on Saturday morning.
Steve McNamara’s squad arrived in Dunedin today to begin preparations for this weekend where a 10-point victory would guarantee a place in next week’s Four Nations final.
Saturday’s match would have been a carbon copy of the tournament’s final had England winger Ryan Hall not been denied a last-gasp try by an Australian video referee on Sunday.
“It was a very disappointed dressing room,” O’Loughlin said.
“We felt we had done enough to get the win.
“I only saw it on the big screen but, for me, Ryan looked like he touched it and most of the boys felt it was a try. But it wasn’t all about that final play; there were probably other parts of the game that cost us.
“I thought we put in a real strong performance. It was a tough arm wrestle of a game but I felt we dominated areas of the game, it was just some small per cents here and there burnt us a little bit.
“They’ve got some real class individuals and I thought we did a good job on them for probably 90 per cent of the game.
“We let in a couple of tries in the second half which was disappointing but I thought we had scraped it in the end, we just didn’t get the result.
“It was a great opportunity to get a win but we have to crack on from this. To not get the win is tough but we know we’ve got another game and we can put it right here.
“We’ve got our travelling done early and we’ll soon be back out on the pitch.”