England player ratings: Half-backs steal show in stunning Samoa demolition

England made a dream start to the World Cup with a 60-6 demolition of highly-fancied Samoa.

All the talk was about Matt Parish's side in the build-up but England produced an outstanding performance to prove their tournament credentials.

The win leaves Shaun Wane's men on course to avoid Tonga in the quarter-finals but the hosts will not fear anybody on this evidence.

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England dominated the first half and deservedly held an 18-6 lead at the break thanks to Jack Welsby's opener and a brace from Dom Young.

Samoa responded just before the interval through Izack Tago's intercept try but the Pacific Islanders were hampered by the loss of three players to injury and ultimately paid the price for a lack of preparation time in the country.

Kallum Watkins and Herbie Farnworth calmed any nerves and Elliott Whitehead added a quickfire double before Tommy Makinson, George Williams and Tom Burgess got in on the act to complete the rout.

Here, The Yorkshire Post rates England’s players after a memorable win.

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Sam Tomkins: There was a lot of talk about England's spine in the build-up to the tournament but they delivered and then some, with the skipper quietly effective chiming into the line and nailing a late 40/20. 8

Herbie Farnworth of England celebrates a try against Samoa. (Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com)Herbie Farnworth of England celebrates a try against Samoa. (Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com)
Herbie Farnworth of England celebrates a try against Samoa. (Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com)

Tommy Makinson: His fellow winger on the opposite flank was front and centre in the first half but Makinson carried strongly throughout and came to the fore as England ran riot, scoring a try to go with his 10 goals. 8

Kallum Watkins: Put his hand up for the tough carries in the early stages and calmed any nerves with the first try of the second half. 8.5

Herbie Farnworth: Denied an early try by the video referee but was excellent on both sides of the ball, the highlight a brave effort to deny Joseph Suaalii with the game in the balance. 8.5

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Dom Young: Fired an early warning shot with a half-break down the right early on before cutting loose to score a quickfire double and prove his freakish finishing battle. 8

Jack Welsby: Took the game by the scruff of the neck with nerves on show elsewhere, scoring the opening try before laying on two for Young. 9

George Williams: Backed by Wane and he delivered on the big stage with a virtuoso display, gaining confidence from a series of perfectly weighted short kicks before showcasing his dangerous running game. 9

Tom Burgess: Set the tone from the very start with strong carry after strong carry and got the try his performance richly deserved late on. 9

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Micky McIlorum: Put himself about in defence and kept England ticking in attack before taking a well-earned rest in the closing stages. 8

Chris Hill: Eyebrows were raised when he was selected in the squad but he delivered two solid stints. 8

Elliott Whitehead: Was bullish in the build-up and England backed up his confidence, with the former Bradford Bulls forward playing a full part in his own metronomic style. 8

Mike McMeeken: Ran hard in the early exchanges and only got better as the game went on. 8

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Victor Radley: Influential throughout with his physicality and ability to play at the line causing Samoa all kinds of issues in the first half. 9


Mike Cooper: Another surprise pick in the original squad but he repaid Wane's faith with a strong performance. 8

Morgan Knowles: A different role for the St Helens enforcer but he was typically strong on both sides of the ball. 8

Matty Lees: Manhandled at times but he kept going back for more which is something to be admired. 8

Luke Thompson: Had to bide his time on the sideline but brought energy when he was introduced. 8

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