Stevo: England must put the Exiles to the sword
Stevo says that nothing but a convincing win for England against the Exiles on Friday will do.
Last Updated: 14/06/13 9:51am
Steve McNamara's side have to demolish the Exiles to prove a point - not only to themselves but to the public in this country.
We know that the World Cup is fast approaching and this is vital for McNamara's team to build on. If they are going to scare the likes of Australia and New Zealand then they must be prepared to pull out a high class performance on Friday night.
This should not be a game for trying out different things, there are no excuses and this game should be played like it was the first game of the World Cup. England have to get out of the blocks early and get right into the faces of the Exiles players. Believe you me, the Exiles are not taking this easy and they want to prove a point too.
There have only been three England v Exiles games in the past and the Exiles are leading 2-1. It is a very strong outfit and they will want to win this game.
The Exiles half-back partnership of Michael Dobson and Travis Burns is very good and they could be key, while Pat Richards could punish England with the boot.
However this is a quality England squad too, they have had the progress and the preparation and this is the time for the likes of Kevin Sinfield, Sam Tomkins and Rangi Chase to show up and put in a fine performance.
This is not a preparation game, this is the start of the World Cup and there are no excuses. If England don't win then I don't want to hear about them not being able to pick the likes of Gareth Widdop, Sam Burgess, Jack Reed and James Graham who are playing in the NRL. What happens if those players get injured? England have to look at it as if this is the time that is taking on Australia in the opening game of the World Cup.
This is going to be rough and tough but England have to come through this triumphantly. England have to show that they are strong physically and mentally and rip into the Exiles - forget about playing against your mates, this is just so important. Imagine what the Aussies and the Kiwis will be thinking if the Exiles beat England?
We need a convincing win here, England cannot take any prisoners. I think England have the chance to do something special at the World Cup, but that starts here against the Exiles.