MILESTONE MAN Ryan Hall is hoping to fill one of the gaps on his cv this weekend.
Hall has won every domestic honour with Leeds Rhinos and averages a try per game over his 30-cap Test career. But he has yet to be on a winning England side against Australia and that is something he is desperate to put right at London’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It is a must-win game for England, who lost their opening Ladbrokes Four Nations tie to New Zealand before bouncing back with victory over Scotland at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
The Kiwis are expected to beat Scotland in Workington on Friday night, so the home nation will need to record their first victory against Australia since 2006 to have a chance of securing a place in the final at Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium on Sunday, November 20.
Hall made his Leeds debut in 2007 and earned his first Test cap two years later.
“I have never beaten Australia and it is something I keep telling myself,” he said.
“It sits with me something rotten. I always get told I play well against Australia, but the main thing is the result so I will be looking to put that right on Sunday.”
It will take a huge improvement for England to overcome the world champions, who crushed Scotland 54-12 in week one before a 14-8 success against the Kiwis last Saturday.
Scotland led 8-0 in the first half and were only 12-8 behind at the break, but England pulled away in the final period.
Hall, who was among England’s try scorers, admitted they got a “telling off” from their coach at half-time, but insisted England can take heart from the way they got back on track with a dominant second-half display.
“We were under clear instructions from Wayne Bennett before the game about our game plan and we didn’t execute it,” he conceded.
“We thought we knew best and obviously we didn’t and that’s why we struggled in the first half. What was encouraging is we set off doing the wrong thing, but we managed to turn it around. Scotland played some brilliant stuff and scored some great tries. You couldn’t argue with the score line at that point.
“The positive is we managed to turn it around and had enough about us to get points on the board.”
Of the error-ridden performance early on Hall, reflected: “Sometimes players see things and go for it too much.
“Then you start forcing errors and dropping balls and it gets worse and worse.”
On a personal note, Hall played down the score which maintained his average of a try every time he pulls on an England jersey.
“It is a massive achievement getting 30 caps,” said the Rhinos winger, who will celebrate a testimonial next season.
“Try scoring is the by-product of playing on the wing.
“George Williams put in the perfect kick and it bounced up perfectly for me. Every winger would have been able to score that try. Luckily it was me.”