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England 14-4 Tonga Player Ratings: Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos stars shine

For the second time, England and Tonga locked horns today as both teams prepare for the 2026 Rugby League World Cup and look to put the disappointment of last year behind them.

The game came after England defeated Tonga 22-18 in the opening game of the series meaning they knew they could secure the series with a win today and a potential whitewash win whilst Tonga needed a win to set up a series decider at the home of Leeds Rhinos: the newly renamed AMT Headingley Stadium.

But there will be no decider after England claimed a 14-4 win over Tonga today to cement themselves still firmly above Tonga on the world stage.

1. Jack Welsby – 7/10
Once again England skipper and kept standards high with a solid first 40 minutes at the back. It is understated how difficult it is to deal with high kicks in these conditions but he was flawless. Also a constant threat out the back.

2. Matty Ashton – 8/10
You couldn’t ask for a better first 40 minutes of your England career. By the time he walked in to talk to coach Shaun Wane, Ashton had scored twice and saved a try at the other end of the field as he stood up to the occasion. In the second half he continued to be a threat.

3. Harry Newman – 7/10
The Leeds centre was linked with a huge NRL move before today’s game and after a quiet display last week was instantly more lively with his shimmy and pass key to setting up Ashton’s first. He also did a lot of the hard work that we forget centres are essential to.

4. Toby King – 6/10
A solid first 40 where he took some tough carries and defended well against some Tongan attacks. Had a few openings and did well when he did but didn’t find the points from them.

5. Tom Johnstone – 6/10
After being the hero of last week’s second half, he was simply solid in the first 40 here. He had a few small openings in the first half and made some key metres. He should have scored at the start of the second half but couldn’t grasp Whitehead’s kick.

6. Mikey Lewis – 6/10
After last week’s brilliant display, Lewis showed some pieces of brilliance such as setting up Ashton’s second try. However, the rain made it a game where it was tough for him to stand out and Tonga targeted the stand-off.

7. Harry Smith – 7/10
Understated once again but kicked excellently throughout and was essential to England’s masterful playing of the wet conditions in the first 40.

8. Tom Burgess – 6/10
Steady away and solid in the first half. One drawback was his shoulder charge which could be punished at a later date.

9. Daryl Clark – 6/10
Like many of England’s most exciting players, Clark was held back by the rain but was solid throughout the first 40 as he defended well and distributed well.

10. Matty Lees – 7/10
Busy as you would expect from a work horse like Matty Lees and emerging as England’s long term number 10 going forward. He managed the threat of his opponents very well.

11. John Bateman – 7/10
From one work horse to another, John Bateman was very busy in the first half often first in the kick chase and just a pest for any Tongan attack. Protected both Lewis and Harry Newman well.

12. Elliot Whitehead – 6/10
Like Bateman, Whitehead did his job and got through a lot of work throughout the first half as you would expect nullifying the threat of a dangerous Tongan pack. Also showed his skill when he chipped to the corner for Tom Johnstone.

13. Victor Radley – 8/10
A work horse like so many in the England pack but he also brings tremendous skill to the England middles which was still on display despite the rain as he moved the Tongan pack around with his passing. Also kept on going after a thunderous late hit.


14. Danny Walker – 5/10
Was lively when he came on but wasn’t given much time to make an impact nor was it a game that required him to do so.

15. Liam Farrell – N/A
Only came on with five minutes to go.

16. Chris Hill – 7/10
Had a massive impact on the game when he broke away following a tackle on Tui Lolohea helping pave the way for Ashton’s second try.

17. Mike McMeeken – 6/10
Came on and kept up the good work in the middle of the field. Brought plenty of energy to the England pack at a key point.

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