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England winger Jermaine McGillvary was one of their best against Australia in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup on Friday night.

Playing in his sixth Test, his loping runs constantly troubled the Australian defence and he crossed for England's only try early in the first half. The Huddersfield Giants star revealed it was a pre-planned set play to take advantage of Australian centre's Josh Dugan’s tendencies to come out of the line.

"Me and Gaz (Widdop) actually spoke about it just before we went out," he said. 

"He knows (Josh) Dugan quite a bit and says he jams (up in the defensive line) a lot. If he comes out and he sees him, he's just going to throw it out over the top without seeing me, so to be ready for it. I was ready and there to get it."

It was McGillvary's first game in a number of weeks as his Huddersfield Giants missed the Super League playoffs. His performance - and ability to find space out wide - was an encouraging sign for English fans for the rest of the tournament.

"If you've ever watched me play, that's my game [to get yardage] basically," he said. 

"That's why Wayne's picked me. He's not picked me for my blistering speed because I'm not the quickest winger in the world. But I can ramp it up and help out the forwards. I thought I did that in spells today.

"We're here to win. We can take a lot of positives from it. But we need to get them next time.

"It is a journey, it's not won or lost in the first game. We took a lot of confidence from this game. If we get them again, we could improve. There were a lot of errors from ourselves. They didn't put any pressure; we were throwing it into touch and stupid things. It's something to build on but not good enough."

Fellow winger Ryan Hall couldn't continue his stellar try-scoring record against Australia (five tries in six Tests) but acknowledged his team is on the rise.

"We're encouraged by that," he said.

"You know what can happen with six weeks playing week in, week out. The improvement should go up."


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