England head coach Wayne Bennett analyses yesterday’s Pacific Test win over Samoa and the week together in Sydney.

England coach Wayne Bennett believes his squad is in a better position following Saturday’s Pacific Test win over Samoa.
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Bennett first took charge of the side for last autumn’s Four Nations, but he believes the week together and victory over the side ranked fifth in the world, puts England on a more solid footing ahead of the 2017 World Cup, which begins in October.

“It was a tough game of football but we’re happy with the result we got, it’s what we’re here for,” Bennett said after the 30-10 win over Samoa in Sydney. “It was an add-on from when we finished the Four Nations in December, so I’m really pleased we had the chance to get the players together again.

“This week has been great for us and it has brought us together and we needed this. It will be a big help with the World Cup only six months away. “From the team that I left in November last year, and from the team I saw on Saturday, I thought there was a lot more confidence in the team and the individuals within the team.” Bennett was also pleased with the performances of his two halves, Luke Gale and Kevin Brown, with the pair both bagging two try assists yesterday.

The England coach also thanked the co-operation of Super League clubs for releasing their players to take part in this weekend’s international action.

“I thought Luke played with a lot of confidence; he’s one of the best players in the UK at the moment and I thought he was really good. I thought Kevin Brown, in the second half, really complimented him. “I appreciate what the clubs over there did to sacrifice their players for us. Warrington and Castleford had the maximum number of three and they all played well. “The staff did a great job with them; we had four of them flying in on Monday night and they played the duration of the night.”