Peacock concern for England

England awaiting the results of a scan on injured knee

Last Updated: 07/11/11 1:23pm

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Jamie Peacock: Injury concern

Jamie Peacock: Injury concern

Sky Bet

England captain Jamie Peacock is facing a race against time to be fit for Saturday's make-or-break Gillette Four Nations clash with New Zealand.

Medical staff are awaiting the results of a scan after the Leeds forward went off after taking a heavy bang to his knee in the first half of Saturday's 36-20 defeat by Australia at Wembley

St Helens prop James Graham and Wests Tigers second-rower Gareth Ellis, who both experienced lower-back spasms, are expected to recover in time for the final group game at the KC Stadium but Peacock remains a major worry.

England coach Steve McNamara, who was able to field the same team for three weeks in a row, is due to name his line-up at a press conference on Wednesday but may delay the announcement by 24 hours to give his captain more time to recover.

Percentage

The teams are level on points after beating Wales and losing to Australia and also have the same points difference but the Kiwis have a superior points percentage and, therefore, need only a draw on Saturday to go through to a meeting with the Kangaroos in the Elland Road final on November 19.

"It's straight knockout now for us," said Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield, who says England can draw plenty of encouragement from their battling performance against Australia at Wembley.

"We can take some confidence from Saturday. At times we troubled the Aussies and it would be great to get another crack at them.

"We know we've got to do better. We needed to improve a whole lot on what we did against Wales and we weren't quite there in some areas.

"We know the standard now. I thought we troubled the Aussies in some aspects but we weren't disciplined enough and paid the price."

England beat New Zealand in the corresponding fixture at Huddersfield in 2009 to reach the final.

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney knows the KC Stadium well, having had a season with Hull in 2005, but his side have lost on both their previous matches there.

Crushed

They went down 26-24 to Great Britain in the 2004 Tri-Nations and were crushed 44-0 during the 2007 Test series. Peacock, Ellis, Graham, Sinfield and Adrian Morley all featured in Britain's record win over the Kiwis on home soil.

However, New Zealand are still the defending champions and favourites with the bookmakers to earn a rematch with the Aussies, who have been given three days off before they start preparations for their final group match against Wales in Wrexham on Sunday.

Sinfield added: "We know what a great side New Zealand are. We can't mope about Saturday, we've got to get our chins up and graft and put things right.

"They are the current Four Nations champions and the world champions so we're going to come up against a very good side.

"It's do or die for us now. We've got to roll our sleeves up and fix things up for our next match.

"I thought we made some strides again but they weren't as big as they needed to be to get the win."

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