Rugby League World Cup: Steve McNamara quietly confident England can win

Last Updated: 19/11/13 4:01pm

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Steven McNamara quietly confident England can upset New Zealand on Saturday

Sky Bet

England head coach Steve McNamara is quietly confident his troops will be able to upset the odds and topple New Zealand in Saturday's Rugby League World Cup semi-final.

The Kiwis, who wrestled the trophy from Australia in 2008, have been in blistering form so far in their four matches.

McNamara's side were far from their best in Saturday's 34-6 triumph over France, however, England's coach is confident they have the attributes to shock the champions.

England are looking to reach their first World Cup final since their 1995 defeat to Australia at Wembley, but McNamara insists the goal is to win the tournament and not just make the Old Trafford showpiece on November 30.

"Not just reaching the final, but winning the final is the goal," he told Sky Sports. "To do that we obviously have to get past a very good New Zealand team this week.

"We are third-favourites in this tournament. New Zealand are favourites for this game, but we think we've got the ammunition, personnel and plan to beat New Zealand."
Steve McNamara

"We are third-favourites in this tournament. New Zealand are favourites for this game, but we think we've got the ammunition, personnel and plan to beat New Zealand.

Biggest prize

"If we do that we give ourselves a chance to compete in the final and hopefully bring home the biggest prize in rugby league."

Stephen Kearney's side have brushed aside Samoa, France, Papua New Guinea and Scotland to reach the semi-finals.

McNamara knows the size of the task facing his side in the capital and while Sonny Bill Williams has been highlighted as one to watch, stopping the Sydney Roosters ace is only part of the problem for the co-hosts.

"They've been very, very impressive in this tournament," he continued. "They've steamrolled everybody in front of them. Teams have really tried their best to try and stop them and they haven't found a way of doing so.

"It's a very difficult task for us at the weekend. The New Zealand team are in good form. They've got very good players, but we're quietly confident that we can go out there and get the job done.

"If we're to play well at the weekend and beat New Zealand then stopping Sonny Bill Williams is just part of the problem that we face, but an important part as it is."

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