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"It was the good, bad and the ugly today."

That was how Wayne Bennett summed up England's 36-6 win over Papua New Guinea on Sunday night in Melbourne.

So what was the good?

"Some really good defence, some nice build-up to some of their plays."

The bad?

"The lack of discipline." And the ugly?

"Just watching it."

Bennett could have also included an injury concern to five-eighth Kevin Brown in the latter bracket after he was dazed by a high hit in the 25th minute. Kumuls halfback Watson Boas hit Brown with a shoulder and the England player lay prone for a brief moment.

The coach revealed the remarkable story that it was only after an England squad member showed a replay of the incident on social media to the team doctor that they realised how dangerous it was.

"Nearing half-time one of our players was on social media – one of the players not playing," Bennett said. 

"Up comes a replay of the incident. At that stage, no one had seen the incident again. He brought in and showed the doctor [who] released it was a category one. Kevin comes off to half-time and was taken off the field. Kevin was fine, had no symptoms at that stage at all of being knocked out, which is pretty much what happened."

Brown didn't realise what happened and wasn't tested straight away. 

"In Kevin's mind he was stunned," Bennett said. 

"It looked bad enough for the elite doctor and our doctor to say it was a category one and get him straight off the field."

England scored seven tries to one but the coach admitted it was their worst performance of the World Cup so far. He's confident they can rectify it quickly.

"Because we do a lot of things right at training," he said. 

"If we had these problems at training, I'd have another issue. We've just got to carry it through to the game on a consistent basis. Training attitude is great and they're committed blokes. They're training as good as anybody I've ever coached; they're committed as anybody I've ever coached, so we've just got to get the execution part. We're not getting further away from it, we're getting closer to it.

"We've just got to put it right in the game."


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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