ENGLAND began their World Cup campaign in the best way possible with a 60-6 thrashing of Samoa.
Samoa themselves were favourites going into that fixture in the opening game of the tournament at St James’ Park last weekend, but England carved them up throughout, delivering one of the greatest national performances in recent years.
However, Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin had some choice words for Samoa.
“Samoa were terrible, it’s quite shattering for Samoa,” Wilkin said on Sky Sports.
“I think a lot of the noise about them being favourites was drummed up from the NRL and how many players they had from the NRL Grand Final who came into that Samoa team.
“I didn’t mind saying Samoa were favourites because it alleviated pressure off England and England without pressure on – that privilege has gone now – performed better.”
Wilkin also feels that head coach Shaun Wane’s character is what the nation needs in terms of not letting the side get carried away.
“Shaun Wane is the type of coach who won’t let any player get three millimetres off the ground. In some ways, I think Shaun Wane is the right man.”
From that demolition of Samoa, Wilkin believes that the English people are firmly holding onto a sense of potential World Cup glory.
“The impact that result has had on the feeling towards the World Cup and the sense of national pride. It just felt like we might be onto something but we always say that.”