• Victory over Argentina in their opening Pool 'D' match came after England lost three of their four warm-up games.
• After facing Japan in Nice, England’s remaining pool fixtures will come against World Cup debutants Chile (September 23) and 11th-ranked Samoa (October 7).
England are not looking beyond Sunday’s Rugby World Cup pool game against Japan despite taking a first step towards the quarter-finals, says Kevin Sinfield.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the last eight in October. Victory over Argentina in their opening Pool 'D' match came after England lost three of their four warm-up games.
“Given the August we had, I think it’s really easy for us to keep our feet on the ground. One good game doesn’t make a World Cup,” said the defence coach.
Sinfield told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast: “It’s all about Japan for us. We understand the threat Japan pose, we’re respectful of them as a nation, the players they’ve got and their coaching team.
“We’ll understand, regardless of the scoreboard at the weekend, whether we’ve taken a step forward. We’ll be able to see that and feel it.
“The players have been magnificent since we’ve arrived in France and we hope that continues.”
After facing Japan in Nice, England’s remaining pool fixtures will come against World Cup debutants Chile (September 23) and 11th-ranked Samoa (October 7).
George Ford kicked all of England’s points in the 27-10 victory over Argentina in Marseille last Saturday, the win being achieved despite Tom Curry’s early red card that will see the Sale flanker suspended for England’s next two matches.
Sinfield, who played at three Rugby League World Cups for England, said he has noticed “a little bit of extra bounce” among the squad following the success against the Pumas.
“Some of the stresses and strains that I suppose you saw in people’s faces have gone, and that can only help us moving forward,” added Sinfield.
“It’s been a pretty relaxed and calm group anyway, but this only helps with that and I think we’ll get another great performance at the weekend.
“The competition for places is really strong. Everyone wants to impress each week and ensure they put themselves in the best position to play the following week, so guys are doing everything they can in training. There’s a great spirit within the group and I think that was shown in how the guys worked so hard for each other at the weekend.”