Remembering the performance of Jermaine McGillvary in 2017 World Cup

Steven Hughes
Jermaine McGillvary England

After announcing his international retirement, we take a look at the performances of Jermaine McGillvary in the 2017 World Cup.

McGillvary announced his retirement on Wednesday after an impressive 12 tries in 17 games. He said afterwards that the 2017 World Cup was the pinnacle of his career.

He had caught the eye for England during the Four Nations, scoring at least one try in every game. However, he could not help England into the final, they finished third behind Australia and New Zealand after defeats against both.

He was one of the first choices on the wing at the time. McGillvary would play every game at that World Cup as England would reach the final.

Four tries for McGillvary as England get out of group

The first game of that World Cup saw England given the unenviable task of facing World champions Australia in Melbourne for the opening match of the tournament.

McGillvary would score the opening try after just five minutes. But tries from Matt Gillett, Billy Slater and Josh Dugan secured an opening win for Australia in front of their home crowd.

After that baptism of fire to the latest World Cup, England then faced Lebanon, where McGillvary again started on the wing.

Kallum Watkins’ early try was cancelled out by Nick Kassis, before McGillvary would register his second try of the tournament. Further tries from Ryan Hall, Ben Currie and Tom Burgess earned England their first win.

However, McGillvary would face a nervous wait to see if he could play against France in the next match. Lebanon captain Robbie Farah had accused him of biting. But he was cleared by a disciplinary panel.

England would then face France to confirm their place in the Quarter-Finals of the World Cup. Wayne Bennett’s men would score five tries in the first half thanks to Gareth Widdop, Stefan Ratchford, James Graham, Mark Percival and John Bateaman. Ben Garcia responded for France.

A second half double from McGillvary would complete the scoring and see England through to face Papua New Guinea in the Quarter Finals.

History for England

England would face Papua New Guinea in Melbourne for a place in the semi-finals. They had reached that stage of the last three tournaments, and were targeting to get there again.

McGillvary’s first half double set England on their way, with tries also coming from Alex Walmsley, Ben Currie and Ryan Hall. Watkins also added a double.

It set up a semi-final against Tonga, with England looking to reach the final for the first time since 1995. They were stopped at the semi-final stage in every tournament since.

McGillvary scored an early try, and others from Widdop and Bateman seemed to have England cruising through. But late tries from Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tui Lolohea meant England were hanging on a bit in the end.

Particularly when Andrew Fifita thought he had scored right at the end, but the referee disallowed it straight away without referring upstairs.

Heartbreak in the final

England would face Australia for the second time in the tournament, this time with the hope of winning a first ever World Cup as England. Their previous wins in 1954, 1960 and 1972 were as Great Britain.

McGillvary once again started on the wing, as England looked to make history.

But it wasn’t to be- Boyd Cordner’s early effort was enough to win the match for Australia. There were chances, but they could not be converted.

Despite not getting the result in the final, it was still a tournament to remember for McGillvary. Only Australia winger Valentine Holmes, and Fiji’s Suliasi Vunivalu scored more tries than him. Holmes’ tally was helped by an incredible six-try haul against Fiji in the semi-finals.

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