Mixed feelings for McNamara
England coach Steve McNamara admitted to Sky Sports that his side have 'work to do' ahead of the Four Nations.
Last Updated: 22/10/11 11:13am
England coach Steve McNamara admitted his side have "work to do" ahead of the Four Nations after their 32-18 victory over France in Avignon.
Hull winger Tom Briscoe scored two of England's six tries, the pick of the bunch being a 70-metre effort by Jack Reed, one of three debutants fielded for the game at Parc des Sports.
However there were some negatives for the visitors, not least the fact that they leaked two tries in the final 10 minutes having trailed 6-4 after half-an-hour of the contest.
McNamara felt it was the perfect game ahead of next Saturday's tournament opener against Wales, before England face the might of trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand in the following weeks.
"It was the real tough, physical encounter that we needed," he told Sky Sports.
"Obviously we came up with plenty of mistakes, both with the ball and defensively, and probably our game management wasn't the best.
"But overall, in terms of what is required for us going into the competition, we've got a great idea now.
"I'm really pleased with some things, but there obviously are some things we need to fix.
"At 32-6 with less than 10 minutes on the clock, it's really disappointing from ourselves to concede a couple of late tries and make the final scoreboard look a little bit closer.
"We were okay in some areas, but the game management in the situation where a couple of things weren't quite going our way and we couldn't get any momentum going... we need to deal with that better."
McNamara put the mixed display against the French down to rustiness, with some players having not been in action for nearly two months.
He also pointed to the fact that the new-look team had not played much together, though he insisted that confidence remains high in the squad.
"I think everyone across the board, not just the debutants, had mixed aspects to their game," the former Bradford boss added.
"That's the way it was because a lot of our players hadn't played for six or seven weeks. They also hadn't played together.
"We've had some great practice sessions but you really need to put yourself under that physical contact to put yourselves under that pressure.
"Tonight showed we still have some work to do. We will continue to work on the areas we need to improve and look at the reasons why, but there is a great deal of belief and confidence in the group."
The spirited French performance delighted their coach, Bobbie Goulding, after he had threatened to resign in the wake of last week's 38-18 defeat by England Knights in Leigh.
"I'm really happy," he said. "We knew we were better than last week's performance.
"Last week was about other things which I spoke about and I'd like to move on from that.
"I'm so proud of these boys. We know that we can compete at this level.
"They have done everything asked of them and they stuck to their task. We played some good football and, although we made some stupid mistakes, you're going to do that when you're tired.
"We kept Sam (Tomkins) really quiet which was our goal and, with better execution, we could have got closer."