NRL 11 months ago

Bennett upset by Sam Burgess' indiscipline

  • Bennett upset by Sam Burgess' indiscipline

    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: Sam Burgess of England looks dejected at the final whistle during the Four Nations match between the England and Australian Kangaroos at Olympic Stadium on November 13, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

A bitterly disappointed Wayne Bennett says he's not tempted to consider looking at Australian-born players who qualify for England to bolster his side's Rugby League World Cup hopes.

Bennett's side crashed out of the Four Nations competition with a 38-16 to the Kangaroos at the London Stadium and the veteran coach said there needs to be an improvement in mindset and application from his players before any progress can be made.

"The problem is our inability to continually maintain pressure... not finding the sideline on two occasions, which is pretty important in any context let alone against the best team in the world," Bennett said.

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"Then the stupid penalties we continually give away.

"England are very capable of being a lot better than they are right now.

"Until we get these little problems out of the road, (problems) manifested by their club football -I have seen that and they get away with it at that level, you can't at this - that's the difference."

State of Origin representative players such as Trent Hodkinson, Josh and Brett Morris and Chris McQueen have all been linked with a possible switch of affiliation via the grandparent rule but Bennett isn't tempted to look outside of English-born players.

"That's not the answer," he said.

"There are quality players here, we've just got to get better and figure out what beats them ... they think it's the opposition that beats them."

Skipper Sam Burgess said his side didn't play to their potential but was scathing about the performance of referee, Englishman Robert Hicks who he accused of being swayed by Cameron Smith.

He also agreed with Bennett's claim that he concedes two many penalties.

"They're a class outfit, but I think we're a better side than that scoreline," Burgess said.

"I agree with Wayne, I did give two penalties away at the end of the first half and one led to two points. It's something I have to improve on.

"Some of the calls were not good enough at all, you've got to put the whistle away at some point, and I'm not saying that is why we lost.

"But this is an international and there were 13 or 14 penalties in the first half. He was being made aware of the penalty count by the Australian captain, who is a smart player, and made sure it was even by halftime.

"I don't know what agenda he's got there but at this level I don't think they were penalties."

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