Roby Relishing Ireland Test

JAMES Roby is expecting a backlash from Ireland when the two sides meet at John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield on Saturday (2.30pm).

Ireland lost their opening game against Fiji on Monday and must beat England to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals, but Roby feels prepared for what the Wolfhounds have to offer.

“We know a little bit about what to expect from them,” said Roby. “A lot of their players play in England, so we’ve seen them quite a lot over the last few years.

“We watched some of their last game, and both Ireland and Fiji were very physical, and with there being a bit of a rivalry there too, they’ll come at us fired up.

“It’s probably fair to say that we’re expected to get the win, but I’m sure they’re not thinking like that. They’ve got a very good coach in Mark Aston, who’ll be getting them up for it.

“Their defeat to Fiji probably makes it harder for us. They’ve got to win so they’ll make it as tough as possible. We’ll have to be at the top of our game. There are no opportunities to slip up.

“Ireland have a point to prove. They surprised everyone at the last World Cup, so you can’t write anyone off. It’s going to make for an exciting tournament for everyone watching.”

England relinquished an early lead to go down 28-20 to Australia on Saturday, but Roby says he was happy with the overall performance.

“We started well,” he said. “We had the 10-point lead and let it slip which was disappointing. We made a few handling errors at the back end of the first half and made mistakes early on with our tackles which gave them territory.

“But on the whole, when you look at the statistics from the game, they suggest that they should’ve won by more, so we did well to defend our line and make it as close as it was.

“Unfortunately we let our guard down. If we could’ve maintained that high standard, stuck to our game plan and completed more sets it might have been different.

“Everyone’s feeling good at the moment,” he said. “The appearance against Australia was a step up from the Italy game and it’s what we needed. To only lose by eight showed how close we were.

“We looked at some pointers and statistics to see where we let ourselves down with errors and penalties, and now we’re all looking forward to Saturday.

“We’re not looking at outside expectations. It’s a long tournament that we’ve just got to take week by week. Every game will be a tough game so we’ll be taking it all as it comes.”

England Squad:
Carl Ablett (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Parkside)
Tom Briscoe (Hull FC, Featherstone Lions)
George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Thomas Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Rob Burrow (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)
Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers, Dannevirke Tigers)
Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)
Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants, Smawthorne Panthers)
James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs, Blackbrook)
Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Spring Lions)
Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Kevin Sinfield (captain) (Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead)
Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)
Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves, Normanton Knights)
Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm, King Cross)

Ireland Squad:
Dave Allen
Luke Ambler
Bob Beswick
Damien Blanch
Danny Bridge
Ben Currie
Liam Finn
Simon Finnigan
Kurt Haggerty
James Hasson
Rory Kostjasyn
Stuart Littler
Tyrone McCarthy
James Mendeika
Anthony Mullally
Apirana Pewhairangi
Pat Richards
Joshua Toole
Brett White

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