THE TOMKINS boys are back together and no-one is more thankful than England coach Steve McNamara.
Both Sam and Joel scored tries as Samoa were eventually seen off in a nailbiting Four Nations opener.
Throw in a try for Liam Farrell and two vital contributions from Matty Smith on his debut and it was a fairly good day for the Warriors’ contingent.
However, it was far too close for comfort as Samoa led 22-20 until the Tomkinses’ tries, which both came from Smith kicks.
And Sam knows that things have to be better if they are to dump Australia out of the tournament on Sunday.
He said: “Joel’s doing well. It’s great to have him back in the side.
“Joel’s as proud as I am to pull on the England jersey and it’s great to have him back in the squad.
“But we’ve got to learn that 26 points is too much and in attack we were probably a little bit dumb at times.
“We turned the ball over at our own end too much, we gave them too many piggy backs.
“You can’t do that at any level. It gives them too much of a chance. Play at any level and you’ll get burnt if you give the other side too much ball.
“In the game we get under the posts and say ‘Let’s not make any errors,’ then we’d drop the ball on play two.
“However Samoa aren’t a rubbish team, they’re not here to make up the numbers. They’re full of quality players and we knew that going into it.
“They’ve been written off as big underdogs but we knew they’re a dangerous side and they proved it.”
Joel put England ahead after Smith’s kick was touched back by Michael Shenton while Sam grabbed what proved the clincher after another Smith bomb was dropped by Tim Simona.
It was a proud moment for the Tomkins family, especially Joel who is still pinching himself.
He said: “It’s been an unbelievable year for me, coming back into rugby league and getting in this squad.
“I didn’t expect it at all. To play on Saturday was massive. I am grateful and humbled that I am part of this squad.
“It is always good to score tries but I didn’t have much to do. But it was great to get over on my first game back for England.
“Both me and Sam scored easy ones but the most important thing was we got the win.”
Antonio Winterstein’s try meant no-one could breathe easily until the very last minute of the game.
And McNamara admitted: “We had to dig ourselves out of some dark places at times to get the win.
“It was as nervy for me as it was for people watching. We’re certainly relieved but I’m delighted as I knew that kind of game was coming.
“We’re a brand new team and travelled to other side of the world, then we’ve only had nine days to get ready.
“We got the win but we’ve got so much improvement in us. We all know we can play a lot better than that.”
Australia’s 30-12 loss to New Zealand means that should England win very early on Sunday morning, they are out.
And star half-back Daly Cherry Evans is a massive doubt after picking up an injury in the first half.
Seeing the Aussies’ lose and pick up a key injury only added to the beaming smiles on England players’ faces after their win. Spirits were already high with Dan Sarginson pretending to interview Tom Burgess.
Farrell scampered over for his first international try just after half-time after being sent through a gap by Gareth Widdop.
However, Sam Tomkins was more concerned about how he coped with the Brisbane heat, with temperatures nudging 36 degrees at pitchside.
He joked: “I felt sorry for James Graham and Liam Farrell. Being a ginger can’t be easy.”