In the second meeting between the two, England and Tonga have again shown the emerging rivalry between the two nations with Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves stars at the heart of the action in the first half.
This is because Harry Newman set up Matty Ashton for a debut try after a lovely ball picked the Leeds centre out on the right edge and he shimmied before feeding the ball to Ashton who squeezed in.
Newman this week was linked with a move to the NRL by the Daily Telegraph with his contract expiring in 2024. The centre will have likely gained more admirers with the assist.
He and Ashton would then be on hand to deny Tonga’s best attack of the opening 20 minutes. This however sparked a minor skirmish with Newman accused of sliding in.
This led to referee Jack Smith calling in both skippers to say: “We don’t need players taking issues into their own hands, there’s nothing in it.”
Smith was doing well to control the game which had a few fiery moments in it with that being the tip of the iceberg so to speak.
Matt Newsum on BBC even felt that one England star was potentially facing a ban for a shoulder charge. This was Tom Burgess who was penalised for the incident with BBC’s lead commentator saying: “There was no wrap on the arms either, that could be a little bit dodgy come disciplinary time.”
Brian Noble went on to add: “Yeah, he’s got the call right. It was both late and a shoulder charge.”
This was a different out look to the late hit on Victor Radley. Newsum said: “A late shot on Victor Radley and he certainly didn’t miss.”
Noble this time concured: “I think he’s committed, I don’t think can do much about it but he’ll have felt it. It’s right in his ribs where he’s exposed.”
Meanwhile, Jack Smith said to England skipper Jack Welsby: “It’s a penalty only, the ball had only just gone which is why it’s a penalty only.”
Fortunately for England this did lead to the opening try and England would later extend their lead making it 8-0 via a Harry Smith penalty.