England have secured a Test Series win over Tonga after a win at Huddersfield Giants’ John Smith’s Stadium thanks to a brace of tries from Warrington Wolves star Matty Ashton.
This comes after England had won the first Test 22-18 at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium. England won the first test thanks to a try for Wigan Warriors centre Toby King as he reminded parent club Warrington Wolves of what they will get in 2024 when he returns from his loan.
This came from a great break from Mikey Lewis who after a sweeping move burrowed over from close range for England’s second as the debutant won the Man of the Match. Tom Johnstone wrapped up the win with a brace of tries to seal a 22-18 win.
In the second test there were some similarities such as the two tries for a winger and a debutant claiming the Man of the Match. This all went to the same individual this time in the shape of Ashton who linked up really well with Leeds Rhinos centre Harry Newman on the right wing.
Harry Smith also played brilliantly in what was an excellent display by England in the conditions. However, in the eyes of some, the conditions led to a disappointing crowd.
Only 11,210 fans were in attendance at Huddersfield Giants which was certainly less than had been expected. It is a stronger crowd than Huddersfield’s own average attendance for the Super League season however.
But compared to the average attendances of Super League clubs, this attendance would sit below Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Hull FC and only just ahead of Warrington Wolves.
The attendance was also worse than last week’s attendance which was short of what many hoped despite being above St Helens’ year average of 12,695.
The crowd was also sadly comparable to the domestic rugby union over the same weekend finishing with only slightly more than both seen at Exeter Chiefs and at Gloucester over the weekend. It was also less than seen at both Bath and Bristol on the same day which has to be said is disappointing. Hopefully next week at Headingley things can be turned around.
Furthermore, as an accumulative total the England game was blown out of the water.