Tommy Makinson refusing to get carried away after England see off Samoa

Tommy Makinson refusing to get carried away after England see off Samoa

Points machine Tommy Makinson insists England will not get carried away following their impressive start to the World Cup.

The opening fixture could hardly have gone better for Shaun Wane’s men as they demolished a talented Samoa team billed as pre-match favourites 60-6 at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

With further group games to come against France and minnows Greece, the win virtually assures England of a place in the knockout stages and, if they were able to finish top, they would most likely avoid another dangerous Pacific Island nation, Tonga, in the quarter-finals.

England v Samoa – Rugby League World Cup – Group A – St James’ Park
Tommy Makinson is tackled by Samoa’s Izack Tago (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The margin of victory took even the England players by surprise but Makinson, who contributed 24 points with 10 goals and one of his side’s 10 tries, insists they will be staying grounded.

“You never expect a scoreline like that,” he said. “Obviously Samoa had a few things go against them.

“They’re an awesome team and need time to gel together, so we’re not going to get carried away.

“We’re happy but we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves.

“We played pretty well but we know there are bigger games ahead. That’s one ticked off, now we move on to the next.

“We’ve got France next week and the worst thing we can do now is start crowing and undervaluing teams we’re playing.

“It’s a good feeling, for sure, and what a game! But there are so many great teams in this tournament and we’ll see Samoa again.

“Each game is different, we could play Samoa again tomorrow and it could be totally different, we know they’re better than that.”

England v Samoa – Rugby League World Cup – Group A – St James’ Park
Dom Young dives in for England’s second try (Mike Egerton/PA)

Rested for the warm-up match against Fiji after playing for St Helens in the Grand Final, Makinson cemented his place as one of the world’s top wingers while on the other flank Dom Young justified his selection ahead of the veteran Ryan Hall with another blockbusting display on his Test debut.

Hall, England’s record tryscorer, will be recalled against France in Bolton on Saturday, with Wane pledging to play all seven men who missed out on selection for the opening game, but Makinson is hoping he keeps his spot.

“It’s an England Test so I’d rather not miss out but he’s the coach,” Makinson said. “Dom Young played great today and I thought I had a good game, whatever happens happens.”

England v Samoa – Rugby League World Cup – Group A – St James’ Park
A flashpoint between England captains Sam Tomkins (left), who Shaun Wane thought was a man of the match contender, and Samoa prop Josh Papali’i (PA Images/Mike Egerton)

Loose forward Victor Radley, one of England’s six NRL-based players, was named man of the match on his debut but Wane believes there were better candidates, suggesting any one of George Williams, Kallum Watkins, Sam Tomkins and Jack Welsby would have been more worthy winners.

“There were other players who were very good,” Wane said. “He can do a lot better, no doubt, and he won’t mind me saying that. He can play much better than that.”

Watkins, who has played second row for his Salford club all season, made the most metres with 202 on his return to centre and pulled off 20 tackles, while Williams produced 22 runs, the highest of any player on the field.