As England booked their place in the Rugby League World Cup quarter-finals with a thumping 46-6 win over Papua New Guinea at Wigan Warriors’ DW Stadium, one man stole all the headlines.
Yes both Tom Burgess and Victor Radley were world class as England stormed 38-0 ahead with half an hour, but it was Tommy Makinson who claimed a first half hat-trick on route to a histor making five try haul.
He scored 30 points in total as he also nailed five goals in thumping win over the Kumuls.
After the game, England coach Shaun Wane was full of praise for the for the St Helens star and revealed the member of his staff who has been working well alongside Makinson in camp to maximise the winger’s brilliant quality.
Speaking to the BBC, Wane said of Makinson: “He’s done it for years and years. He’s done a lot of work with Paul Anderson a former front-rower on our staff. Fair play to him, all our backfield played great today but Tommy has done it for St Helens for years, he’s done it for England and Great Britain, an outstanding talent.”
Yes, somewhat interestingly, former Bradford Bulls and St Helens prop Paul Anderson, who was a two-time treble winner, Great Britain international and led Huddersfield Giants to the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield, has been key to getting the most out of the St Helens flyer despite the fact Anderson was of course a forward in his playing days.
This shows the strength of the England coaching staff with former Hull FC boss Andy Last amongst the staff as well.
Perhaps Makinson will also turn to Anderson for goal kicking tips after he missed four today, with the former St Helens prop famously nailing a touchline conversion in his last season with the club with just one step for a run up.
Whatever Anderson has been doing with Makinson has only made the world class winger even better as he again looks as brilliant as he did in 2018 when he won the golden boot.