Castleford Tigers star Luke Gale admitted England would have to play better than they did last Saturday if they are to challenge the mighty Australia in their final group game in the Ladbrokes Four Nations.
Gale, selected for his third straight game at half-back for his country, created two first half tries against Scotland and went on to score a try himself after the break. He also kicked four goals, but the team performance and 38-12 result was disappointing and left England having to beat Australia, possibly by a big margin, if they are to qualify for the final.
England were poor in the first half and found themselves trailing 8-0 after 24 minutes before recovering to take the spoils and Gale said some harsh words were said at half-time by coach Wayne Bennett.
He said: “The half-time team talk wasn’t the greatest. Not as in it wasn’t good team-talk just it wasn’t a nice place to be in.
“We started poorly. Everything we said we’d do we kind of did the opposite. We built no pressure.
“We did a pretty good job second half but there will be a lot of hard work from here now to the Australia game. We’ve got to improve massively.”
Gale was pleased to get his first points for England in his third game, but admitted he was not happy with his own performance.
He added: It was a scrappy game and I wasn’t the best personally.
“Neither of us built pressure as half-backs in that first half.
“I’ll be working hard in the week and who knows what will happen (with selection for the Australia game).
“It was a bit of a bonus getting a first international try. Sammy (Burgess) reckoned he was out pacing me when he went through but I’ll have to watch the replay.”