Hunter: No room for complacency
August 13, 2014
Sarah Hunter will not be relying on England's Six Nations victory against Ireland - that's in the past now © Getty Images
England vice-captain Sarah Hunter is relishing her match-up against Heather O'Brien but emphasises the need for focus ahead of their World Cup semi-final against Ireland on Wednesday.
Hunter starts at No.8 for the match in the Stade Jean-Bouin stadium on Wednesday and it will be the second time in 2014 she will face Ireland. She scored in their 17-10 win over Ireland in this year's Six Nations but insists that result counts for nothing as they prepare to face Philip Doyle's team.
Ireland head into the match having won all three of their pool games, including a history-making win over New Zealand, and Hunter is fully aware of the threats Ireland pose.
"We beat them in the Six Nations, great, but that's in the past now," Hunter told ESPN. "We've seen them out here and they've been in fantastic form, especially that win over New Zealand. They also won all their games so they are in great form.
"We can't look back and get complacent. It's very much a case of starting again, looking at where we are and taking this game in isolation. The relevance of previous games have no resemblance to this at all. It's very much a game on itself and we have to get our game plan, mindset right and it's all about Wednesday and not about previous results."
For Hunter, she will come up against O'Brien, who has recovered from a finger injury to start, and she is relishing that match-up.
"We are very respectful of our opposite numbers and there are some fantastic players from one through to 23. We know that us, as individuals, we have to be on top form. Heather O'Brien's a fantastic player, she's the talisman for their team and she'll give them essential go forward. There will be some great one on ones across the field on Wednesday evening."
If England beat Ireland they will book a place in their fourth World Cup final on the bounce. For Hunter, who was part of the team who lose 13-10 to the Black Ferns in 2010, she is focusing purely on Ireland and not dreaming of silverware.
"We are in the here and now, we are taking the training session one at a time. In the game, we are focusing on those 80 minutes without giving any thought to next steps. If you think ahead, that's when you lose focus."
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