St Helens winger Tommy Makinson has won the Golden Boot award to be crowned the World’s best player . Makinson was nominated for the award along with James Tedesco, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Elliott Whitehead , but the Saints star was named the winner at an awards presentation in Leeds last night .
The award is handed to the player who has had the greatest impact over the year at International level , it was won in 2017 by Cameron Smith just before they beat England in the World Cup Final , and awarded by Rugby League World magazine after a ballot by rugby league International representatives . Given this it is hard to argue against an English winner as the Wall of White are unbeaten in 2018 .
The 27 year old popular winger had the game of his life on Sunday , against the Kiwis , scoring a hat trick ( including one of the tries of the season to win it ) and just as important 3 last gasp tackles to save tries when the players looked more likely to score .
Tommy Mak scored 11 tries for the Red V as they clinched the league leaders shield , was named in the Super League Dream Team and also scored a try on his International debut against New Zealand in the Denver test .
Castleford and England loose forward Georgia Roche was among the nominees for the inaugural women’s award but this went to Australia’s Isabelle Kelly .
New South Wales Coach Brad Fittler slammed the choice of Makinson winning the award telling the NSW website “I can’t believe the best player in the world is a person I’ve never seen play,”
“I watched the highlights of the England game yesterday and just saw him score a couple of tries.
“That’s all I’ve ever seen of him and he’s the best player in the world? I find it ridiculous.”
Obviously given Makinson scored a hat trick he can’t have watched the game too closely . England are the only side in the World’s top 3 who are unbeaten in 2018 .
This is the 5th time the award has gone to an Englishmen , Kevin Sinfield was the last in 2012 , with Garry Schofield , Ellery Hanley and Andy Farrell also previous winners .
England coach Bennett praised Makinson stating “If you look at the three games Tommy’s had for England he’s been outstanding, absolutely outstanding. America was off the bench and he absolutely turned that game around, in Hull in my opinion he was man of the match and he was certainly man of the match last week.”