Back to basics for Burgess
"We weren't good enough" admits England forward
Last Updated: November 1, 2010 2:57pm
Burgess: Honest assessment
Forward Sam Burgess admits England must go "back to the drawing board" for their final Four Nations encounter against Papua New Guinea on Saturday.
England were eliminated from the southern hemisphere showpiece following their 34-14 defeat to Australia in Melbourne on Sunday.
The performance was a significant improvement on the 52-4 humiliation England suffered at the hands of the Kangaroos on their last visit to Melbourne in the 2008 World Cup, but the end result was the same.
An opening 24-10 loss to New Zealand in Wellington had left no room for further error at AAMI Park, but there was no shortage of them as the tourists gifted their hosts tries galore on the back of a series of elementary handling mistakes.
"I think we are (getting closer) but we're not getting the results at the minute," Burgess said.
"We keep saying it every year. We got to the final last year and we competed very well for 60 minutes, which seems to be the story for us.
"We need to learn to compete for 80 minutes. In the last 20 minutes of the first half we made a lot of first-play errors and the Aussies took advantage.
"It's back to the drawing board but I think the more time we spend together, the more tough times we go through together as a team, the more we will grow."
It all means Australia will take on the Kiwis in the November 13 final in Brisbane, leaving England a distant third once more, although they must ward off the threat of Papua New Guinea in Saturday's wooden spoon decider in Auckland to avoid further ignominy.
Burgess, Shaun Lunt and Sean O'Loughlin all came close to scoring in the second half against the Kangaroos, however ultimately England were left to reflect on a series of earlier contentious decisions by referee Tony Archer and his fellow Australian Steve Clark.
Video referee Clark failed to spot a knock-on in the build-up to Luke Lewis' second try when the match was in the balance.
"I knew I was offside but, going off a few of the video ref decisions in the first half, I thought if I milked it, I might get it," added Burgess.
"He seemed easily convinced after those first-half decisions. I don't know how at this level they can make those mistakes.
"It's tough to take sometimes. I try not to complain but I thought we got a few rough calls, although I don't think they affected the end result.
"Quite honestly, we weren't good enough. We've got to get back and try to learn as a group and move forward.
"I thought we started pretty strongly and there was a lot of improvement from last week in terms of the start so we've got to take the positive from that.
"We're in a sort of a rebuilding process. We've got to enjoy getting out there again next week and try to get a win out of the tournament.
"It will be a tough physical game again but we've got to enjoy this last week. We're fully aware it's going to be our last week in camp together."