Tomkins under no illusions


Tomkins under no illusions

Sam Tomkins admits England have piled the pressure on themselves ahead of Saturday's World Cup opener against Australia with their humiliating defeat at the hands of minnows Italy.

It is back to the drawing board for coach Steve McNamara following his side's shock 15-14 defeat in a warm-up match at Salford on Saturday that was designed to put the finishing touches to their preparation.

"It's a very disappointing day for us," Tomkins said. "We know that's not good enough and we've got to improve drastically before next Saturday.

"We know the game in the big picture doesn't mean anything but it's not the way we wanted to start our campaign this year and we've got a great opportunity to bounce back next week."

England went into the game on the back of a two-week training camp in South Africa and Tomkins believes that build-up will stand them in good stead as they look to bounce back.

"We felt like we were ready for the game," he said. "We prepared well in South Africa and that will go a long way in this tournament because it's not just to get us a quick fix from one game. We will build into this."

England fought back after conceding two early tries and Tomkins touched down twice to edge them into a 14-12 half-time lead, only for the Azzurri to level the scores with a 70th-minute penalty and snatch a famous victory with Josh Mantellato's drop goal two minutes from the end,

The humiliation was witnessed by Australia coach Tim Sheens who Tomkins admits must be rubbing his hands with glee.

"They'll think they'll have an easy week won't they?" he said. "If that's how they're thinking, that's fine.

"They're the best in the world and we're under no illusions how tough next week will be. A massive amount needs fixing up.

"We're not daft. There are some smart blokes in there and we know we didn't perform as we planned to.

"We've put a bit more pressure on ourselves and we'll see how we go next week."

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