Tommy Makinson was absolutely delighted to bag his first international hat-trick and help England claim a Test series victory over New Zealand.
The St Helens winger scored three tries to help the Lions edge past the Kiwis 20-14 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
England claimed the Baskerville Shield and a Test series win over New Zealand, with the final game still to be played at Elland Road next Sunday.
“To score three tries in my third England appearance means a lot to me,” Makinson said.
“But brushing aside the tries, it was a pretty special performance from the team. I thought we dug deep again, New Zealand started off well but to get that win over line showed great team spirit.
“I set myself a goal before the game that I would deal with whatever came my way and that’s what each of us did. It was a good performance, all 17 of our blokes put in a good performance and that’s why it is 2-0 in the series.”
Makinson only made his international debut for England against New Zealand in Denver back in June, but has now scored four tries in just three games for his country.
The 26-year-old revealed that he owes a lot to England coach Wayne Bennett for giving him a chance on the big stage.
“I don’t think he gets the credit that he deserves,” Makinson said of Bennett.
“He has been around for so long, coaching so many great players, but what he is doing with this group of lads is special as well. He fills us all with confidence.
“Bringing in a player like me, who is 26 and not had a shot for a while, takes some doing and that chance put a lot of confidence in me.
“It takes some doing but he hasn’t just done it with me, he has done it with quite a few lads and there were 10 changes in the squad for this series and a few big names missed out so credit to him, he’s a pretty special bloke.”
England will look to make it a 3-0 whitewash next Sunday when they face New Zealand in the final game of the series at Elland Road, where they will lift the Baskerville Shield.