Jon Wilkin says England could have beaten Australia as he reveals damning stat and “misunderstanding” that undermined England

Yesterday saw Australia defeat Samoa 30-10 in the Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford.

England missed out on playing in the final after they were stunned by Samoa in the semi-finals last week despite going into the game as favourites.

Speaking after the final on the BBC, ex-St Helens star Jon Wilkin suggested that this came from a misunderstanding from England when they got to the semi-final sighting a damning statistic in the defeat to Samoa.

“I think there’s a misunderstanding from England about what it needs to win games because in the first four games they played, they had some fluency to them, tactically they were smart and they picked teams to bits,” he said.

“It got to the semi-final and it felt like they just decided to become too aggressive and try and growl and fight and scrap.

“We need to look how to change as a bigger sense but if you look at England’s performance, they made sloppy errors throughout the game and at the back end they completed one out of eight sets.”

He felt that it was a missed opportunity for England and said they could have beaten Australia in yesterday’s final: “Had they got here today, they had a chance to beat Australia because they weren’t at their best today.”

In the end it wasn’t to be with Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock calling for a review of the performance.

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