Paul Anderson was delighted with Mikey Lewis’ all-round contribution in England Knights’ thumping 56-4 win over Jamaica.
The Hull KR half-back made his international debut at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle after being tasked with running the left edge.
Lewis eased himself into the match by nailing the basics more often than not before showcasing his dangerous running game as Jamaica began to tire.
Half-back partner Will Pryce took home the man of the match award but Anderson was equally impressed with Lewis.
“When you compare Will and Mikey, Will is really exciting but Mikey’s really composed,” the England Knights head coach told Hull Live after the game.
“He does the simple things really well and towards the end of the game he started running more.
“All we spoke about all week was giving the people on our outside opportunities so they can open things up for him. I thought that’s what he did really well.
“He played some nice short passes to Kai (Pearce-Paul) and why wouldn’t you when he’s there? What you see then is the focus going on the back-rower rather than just him which opens the field up for him.”
Lewis terrorised Jamaica in the second half, coming agonisingly close to scoring another scintillating solo try that would have topped his effort in the Super League play-offs against Warrington Wolves.
But he kept the Reggae Warriors guessing by playing close to the line.
“He’s got a good balance to his game and a good kicking game,” Anderson added.
“I’m sure the more time he spends with Tony Smith and Danny McGuire the better he’ll become, and more consistent as well. That’s the key as young players.
“There were even periods during that game where he could have done things better but as young players we fully expect that.”
Lewis showed his feisty edge early in the game when he was involved in an altercation with Ashton Golding after getting a kick away.
Anderson has no issue with the tenacious playmaker defending himself, saying: “It’s good.
“It’s an international and you should have that. He’s got to look after himself at the end of the day.
“That’s the game and nothing came of it.”
Eyebrows were raised when Anderson selected a raw squad for the Knights’ first game in two years but that decision was vindicated emphatically on Friday night.
While he accepts there are tougher challenges ahead for this crop of youngsters, Anderson would not be surprised to see one or two bolters for next year’s World Cup.
“I’m really pleased,” he said.
“I’m not going to get carried away but it’s a good group of young players with a big future.
“If they keep developing within their clubs, hopefully they can provide some real headaches for Shaun (Wane) moving forward.”