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Rugby League World Cup Final 2008
25 October-22 November 2008
Fixtures | Tables

Jon Wilkin

By Jon Wilkin
St Helens and England

It been a very tough couple of weeks - a poor performance against Australia, being injured, and then watching the boys struggle in the second half against New Zealand.

But sometimes adversity brings the best out of people and, despite our poor form and endless criticism from all areas, we still have every chance of doing well in the World Cup.

New Zealand players celebrate their comeback against England
New Zealand overturned a big half-time deficit to stun England

I'm just hopeful I get selected for Saturday's semi-final at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and can be part of something special.

The Kiwis will be pretty buoyant ahead of the game, having played very well for the second 40 minutes against us and with some world class players coming back into the side.

They are always physical and bring speed and passion to every game they play. We just need to pull together and get a result.

As for Australia, who should win the other semi against Fiji, they have yet to have a bad game in this tournament.

Despite being the defending champions and overwhelming favourites, they seem relaxed and confident, full of smiles and laughter.

When you're in that frame of mind and winning games, things happen effortlessly and you enjoy every moment.

I went to a koala sanctuary on Wednesday and saw some of the most docile animals ever - the bears basically wedge their big backside between branches, chew leaves and sleep.

A koala
Some Australians have been more welcoming to England than others

I got to hold one, which wasn't too daunting, but that all changed when I was handed a python. I have honestly never ever been so scared in my life.

It wrapped itself around my neck and decided to hiss in my ear. I reckon it could have eaten me at the drop of a hat.

The ranger kept telling me I had nothing to worry about, but I've watched enough Discovery Channel programmes to realise that accidents do happen. I was sure I was going to be one of them.

Back home in England there are very few animals which can kill you, something you take for granted, but it's a very different story in Oz.

I'm paranoid about each and every insect and animal I come across over here, including pythons. It was an unnerving yet funny experience, but I'm so glad I did it.

see also
New Zealand v England (Sat)
13 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
England remain confident - Morley
13 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
England omit Gardner and McGuire
12 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
NZ switch Leuluai to hooker role
13 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Smith loses Aussie referee battle
12 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
England 24-36 New Zealand
08 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Australia 52-4 England
02 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
England 32-22 Papua New Guinea
25 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Jon Wilkin column
19 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Jon Wilkin column
13 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
England 74-0 Wales
10 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
England call-up delights Purdham
08 Oct 08 |  Harlequins
World Cup relief for Calderwood
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Purdham earns World Cup call-up
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
England train-on squad in photos
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup squads
14 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Jon Wilkin column
04 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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