England 20 Exiles 32: McNamara says young side will benefit after comprehensive defeat

England 20 Exiles 32: McNamara says young side will benefit from comprehensive defeat



23:25 GMT, 4 July 2012

England coach Steve McNamara believes his emerging players will benefit from the comprehensive defeat by the Exiles.

McNamara's new-look side were no match for their vastly-experienced opponents as the Exiles cruised to a 32-20 victory at Huddersfield's Galpharm Stadium to avenge last month's defeat at Langtree Park.

Exiles skipper Brett Hodgson, who missed the first game through injury, scored two of his side's six tries and kicked four goals for a personal haul of 16 points while winger Francis Meli also touched down twice.

Victors: Exiles celebrate their win

Victors: Exiles celebrate their win

McNamara's decision to rest four regulars, with three others unavailable including the newly-retired Peacock, gave tonight's side an experimental look but the coach insisted his fringe players had not ruined their chances of further representative honours.

'We exposed a lot of our young players all at the same time,' he said. 'They will improve from that.

'If you throw another couple of senior blokes alongside those young people you'd see a different performance and possibly a different result.

'I don't think they're further away at all. This will make them even closer to being selected further down the track.

'We've said all along it's about building a squad and a programme that gives us the best chance of winning the World Cup at the end of 2013.

'I'm grateful to the Exiles. Some or our players have not and will not experience that again until they play another international.'

Stopped in his tracks: Eorl Crabtree is tackled by Brett Hodgson (left) and Kylie Leuluai

Stopped in his tracks: Eorl Crabtree is tackled by Brett Hodgson (left) and Kylie Leuluai

England were soundly beaten in most departments as the Exiles produced a performance full of flair.

'We weren't good enough tonight,' McNamara added. 'We were clearly second best. We're representing England so we're disappointed we didn't get the win.

'We felt we had a team capable of doing that and we prepared as if we were going to win that game.

'We didn't get off to the best start. I thought we were a bit shaky and vulnerable at the start and I thought their experience really told in the end.'

England captain Jon Wilkin, who took over on a one-off basis from the retired Jamie Peacock, said the match presented an opportunity for Super League players to play at a more intense level.

'I've played against Australia and New Zealand and the intensity of tonight's match is up there,' he said.

'The relentless nature of international rugby is something we struggle to recreate in Super League.

Rare highlight: Josh Charnely goes over for a try

Rare highlight: Josh Charnely goes over for a try

'Games in Super League are often punctuated by penalties and stoppages and come the end of the year it's a more fluid game.

'Tonight there were only two penalties in the game and it mirrors exactly what a Test match is like.

'I know I feel the benefit for it and the rest of the team certainly did despite a disappointing loss.'

Exiles coach Daniel Anderson was delighted with the way his much-changed side responded to their 18-10 defeat at St Helens.

'We made some adjustments,' he said. 'We had some different personnel but we wanted to represent the Exiles' brand of rugby and that is a skilful brand of rugby and I thought we showcased that in dry conditions.

'Even though we scored points, we had a lot of other opportunities and probably butchered a couple.'