Crabtree - Defeat unthinkable
PNG equally determined to finish tournament on a high
Last Updated: 02/11/10 12:16pm
Crabtree: a massive game
Eorl Crabtree insists that England simply cannot afford to lose when they face Papua New Guinea in Auckland on Saturday.
"We can't go away from the Four Nations without a victory - it just can't happen."
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Neither side can qualify for the Four Nations final in Brisbane on November 13 after defeats by Australia and New Zealand, but England have to beat the Kumuls to come home with at least some pride intact.
Defeat is unthinkable, according to the Huddersfield prop. "It is a massive game for us," he told Sky Sports News. "We can't go away from the Four Nations without a victory - it just can't happen. So we need to really put it in this week, train hard and finish off on a high. It needs to be done."
That was a sentiment echoed by his England and Giants teammate Kevin Brown, who added: "We know they are going to come at us and hit us hard, so we know if we turn up a bit soft or we don't play hard, they will roll us.
"They are a good, strong side and they will hit us hard. We know we have to turn up and we have to win it for England now."
But PNG is a fiercely proud rugby league nation and skipper Paul Aiton is just as determined to give the Islanders' fans a victory to savour. "We are feeling the same thing," he said. "We need to win too, they have got to win, so they are going to come out firing. We understand that, and I guess we are going to have to match that."
Saturday's match is part of a double-header at Eden Park, with the Kiwis and Kangaroos squaring off in a dress rehearsal for the following week's final.