HUDDERSFIELD Giants winger Jermaine McGillvary said England Nines team-mate Sam Tomkins advised them “fun” was imperative as they made a winning debut at the inaugural World Cup Nines.
England beat Wales 25-4 in Sydney on Friday with Hull FC’s Jake Connor – on his 25th birthday – scoring two tries to add to McGillvary, Daryl Clark and Tomkins efforts.
We spoke about it before and he said normally the better teams throw the ball around a little bit, take that risk and have fun with the football.Jermaine McGillvary
The women’s side defeated Papua New Guinea by the same scoreline, Castleford’s Rhiannon Marshall getting two tries, and both sides were back in action early this morning looking to make today’s respective finals.
“Sam Tomkins has experience playing Nines,” said McGillvary, the classy Catalans Dragons star having represented New Zealand Warriors at Auckland Nines.
“We spoke about it before and he said normally the better teams throw the ball around a little bit, take that risk and have fun with the football.
“That’s what we did for the majority of that game and it was great to get the win.”
England are due to play Lebanon and France Saturday in a bid to reach the semis with the final due to kick-off at 11am.
McGillvary, 31, said: “It was very enjoyable but very tough, very fatiguing and a bit of a shock to the system.
“It’s a different concept to what I’m used to and it takes you out of your comfort zone.”
He added: “Against Wales, we had a gameplan of doing short kick-offs and that helped us a lot.
“We turned possession two or three times in that first half which helped us rack up some points.
“Come the second half the game was dead but the boys still had fun; we were offloading, playing a lot of rugby and it puts us in good stead for the rest of the tournament.”
England’s women’s side also scored tries from Leeds Rhinos’ Caitlin Beevers, captain Emily Rudge and Leah Burke.
The women’s final is scheduled for 9.45am (BST) Saturday morning.