England romped to 60-6 victory in their opening game but ‘you never expect a scoreline like that’ insists a grounded Tommy Makinson.
St Helens winger Tommy Makinson in action for England at the Rugby League World Cup. Image: Alex Livesey/Getty Images for RLWC
Flying winger Tommy Makinson and his England team-mates will be keeping their feet firmly on the ground despite a runaway 60-6 victory over Samoa in the opening game of the Rugby League World Cup at Newcastle.
France are next up in Group A at Bolton on Saturday and while they will start as favourites, Shaun Wane’s boys will give their cross-Channel rivals the respect they deserve.
If the hosts are able to finish top of their group, they would most likely avoid another dangerous Pacific Island nation, Tonga, in the quarter-finals.
The margin of victory over Samoa 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 now got France on Saturday 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.”
Wane will name his squad on Thursday lunch-time and hinted that there will be a number of changes.
It’s not yet known who will be in the party but no doubt St Helens second rower Joe Batchelor will be keeping his fingers crossed that he is called up for a World Cup debut.