A near perfect first half from England, perhaps the best 40 minutes of the tournament from any team, saw England book their place in the Rugby League quarter-finals by halftime at Wigan Warriors’ DW Stadium, but who were the standout performers in England’s 46-6 win?
1 Sam Tomkins – 7
Sam Tomkins showed the added value of him in the team as he added to England’s devastating kicking game. He also helped stretch the play effectively which saw England punch holes through PNG.
14 Dom Young – 7
Got his customary first half try and added an assist too. Typically powerful and dangerous coming out of his own end which helped them suffocate the Kumuls.
3 Kallum Watkins – 7
At the risk of being hypercritical, an error from Watkins in the first half coupled with a rare missed tackle at the end of the first half saw PNG gain some momentum but other than that he was typically destructive in attack scoring and assisting and getting England going forward.
4 Herbie Farnworth – 7
A few touches of class as you’d expect from the NRL centre. Like Watkins he was powerful and got England on the front foot.
2 Tommy Makinson – 9
A first half hat-trick and 22 points in total in the first 40 for the St Helens star, he looked brilliantly dangerously on the end of George Williams’ potent kicking game. Like the rest of the England backs, he too helped get England down field suffocating the Kumuls. He made it five tries in the second half and 30 points in the second half.
6 Jack Welsby – 7
Like all the pivots they were key in stretching the Kumuls after England punched through their middle. Rarely overshadowed somewhat by his fellow playmakers.
7 George Williams – 9
Showed he has one of the best short kicking games in the world and used it to play the conditions perfectly today. Of the seven first half tries four came from kicks and three were his. Claimed a deserved try. His assist for Makinson’s fifth try was particularly impressive.
8 Tom Burgess – 9
World Class. Looks like the best prop on the planet, was a big part of England’s control in the first 40. Punched holes in the kumuls and grabbed a deserved try.
9 Michael McIlorum – 7
Brilliant linespeed, not flashy but did his job to a tee as you’d expect giving good ball to the England forwards.
18 Chris Hill – 8
Not quite as devastating as Burgess, he too was at the heart of things for England in the first 40. Got through lots of work and generated plenty of metres.
11 Elliot Whitehead – 7
Also a grafter as England dominated in the first 40. Helped pin the Kumuls down their own end.
12 John Bateman – 8
Brilliant involvement for Williams’ try as he grabbed back inside and bust through. In a week where there has been so much speculation around his future, he didn’t show it with hard work and power.
13 Victor Radley – 9
Like Burgess, Radley was World Class. Powerful when running, strong in defence but his brilliance lay in his ball movement which stretched the Kumuls and allowed England to tear through.
15 Morgan Knowles – 8
Kept standards high with some exceptional linespeed and powerful carries.
16 Matty Lees – 8
Like his St Helens teammate, he was also tough in defence showing the hard work we associate with the Champions.
17 Mike Cooper – 8
Another prop who kept things going in the middle replacing Tom Burgess nicely and sustaining their control of the middle.
20 Mike McMeeken – 8
Showed his utility value by playing prop in the middle of the field and brought energy and an offload game. When he moved to the second-row he showed how devastating he can be with a massive fend as he created a try for Makinson.