Wednesday, 30 October 2013

"We can still make it through" - White

Despite Wales’ opening day defeat to Italy in the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday, stand-off Lloyd White is still optimistic about his team’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.

The Azzurri followed on from their shock defeat of England in a warm-up game by prevailing against Wales 32-16 at the Millennium Stadium after their powerful second half performance proved to be the difference.

But with the USA and the Cook Islands still to come for Iestyn Harris’ men, White believes they have what it takes to progress.

“Obviously the Italy loss was a huge disappointment after the build-up we had had and the performances we had been giving in training,” said White.

“But they matched our intensity throughout and it probably just got a bit too far away from us during the later stages of the match.

“They were a big, strong side and there were a few bruised bodies the next morning as well as a few bruised egos as we were confident that we could come away with a win due to how well our preparation had gone.

“But we have to forget about that now as we play the USA on Sunday and realistically it is win or bust so we are going to have to go out and give it our all in order to get that result.

“But hopefully we can play to our potential and if we can I’m more than confident we can win our next two games and go through to the Quarters.”

Wales travel to Wrexham’s Glyndwr Racecourse Ground for their game against the United States before taking on the Cook Islands at the Gnoll.

With a crowd of over 45,000 at the Millennium Stadium for the double header featuring England against Australia and Wales and Italy, White has praised the spectators for making it a memorable experience.

“The crowd was fantastic during the game and the atmosphere was incredible,” said the Widnes Vikings star.

“It got the boys up for it even more and it’s just a shame we couldn’t repay the favour by getting the win.

“Even though it won’t be as busy up in Wrexham, I’m sure the atmosphere will be just as electric and this time we’ll be able to repay their support.”

The 2011 RLIF Wales Rugby League player of the year is seen by many as a key player to Wales’ hopes of qualifying to the knockout stages but White was keen to praise the squad and strength in depth they possess.

He added: “I don’t think it’s about one player as such as we have such a class squad full of Super League and NRL experience.

“The good thing about it as well is that it is only going to continue developing and getting stronger due to how much exposure this tournament is going to bring to Rugby League in Wales.”


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