I’ve a Thurst to take on the best
I WILL be more excited than nervous when I face Australia for the first time on Sunday. This is as good as it gets – playing against the world champions and hopefully testing myself against the great Johnathan Thurston.
He is nursing a shoulder injury after last weekend and had not done any contact work up until yesterday. On top of that he has had to suffer a personal tragedy after his uncle was beaten to death.
I still hope he plays because he is the complete package and it is only when you experience a match-up with a scrum-half of his calibre that you can gauge where you are at as a player. Appearing on this sort of occasion is what you dream of as a kid and for which you work so hard.
The Australians are a very skilful and well-coached side and because we had a tough time against Papua New Guinea and the Kangaroos flattened a very disappointing New Zealand team last weekend, the media out here are already writing off the World Cup as a one-horse race, with Australia the inevitable winners.
But we aim to show that will not be the case at the Telstra Dome on Sunday. We have full confidence in our own ability. If we turn up and play like we know we can we will take some beating.
There is no need for inferiority complexes. I am sure we can compete and take the game to Australia. We have talent all across the park.
People have been reading too much into the Papua game. We were surprised how good they were and they played with great passion. But, as poor as we were at times, we probably preferred a tough hit-out like that to a 50-0 scoreline. It blew the cobwebs away and we played a far more controlled game in the second half and came from behind to win.
I have never played against the Kangaroos before and the Melbourne audience will be wondering just how good the little guy from England is when he is up against the best in the world.
I will be playing behind a pretty formidable pack. We are blessed with world-class forwards in Adrian Morley, Jamie Peacock, James Roby and James Graham. These guys can outmuscle the Aussies and give myself and Leon Pryce the platform we want.
Leon has been ripping Super League defences apart this season and is a big weapon for us. We complement each other well and when Danny McGuire comes on he gives us that extra spark. Whatever triangle we use it will be a good one. It is an exciting time for all the guys and this is an opportunity to show how good they are. We have come out here to win the World Cup, we will have a lot of support on Sunday and the aim is to lay down a marker that we can contest the final on
ROB Burrow is aCo-operative Try It ambassador. Visit www.tryit.co.uk
BIG CATCH: Johnathan Thurston is the Kangaroos’ danger man