Connect with us

International Rugby League

English NRL star Elliot Whitehead heaps praise on England debutants following victory over Tonga

Canberra Raiders forward Elliot Whitehead has piled on the praise for Leeds Rhinos centre Harry Neman and Hull KR halfback Mikey Lewis following their successful England debuts last weekend. 

The Yorkshiremen earned their first caps for their country in Sunday’s 22-18 win over Tonga, a match in which Lewis was awarded Man of the Match.

Speaking on the Sportsman YouTube channel, Whitehead had only positive things to say about the duo.

“I thought Harry Newman had a great game and so did Mikey Lewis on his debut as well,” he said.

He added: “There’s a lot of new faces in the camp this year and I thought they all stood up very well.”

Following Sunday’s test, much was made about the state of the St Helens pitch and how it suited England’s game, however Whitehead said it also caused the hosts some problems.

“Especially on that pitch, we were a little bit slower than what we probably wanted on the weekend,” said Whitehead. “I thought we dealt with them really well.”

He added: “I thought our ruck control for the majority of the game, we had good ruck control and I thought that got us the win in the end.”

He also shared his hopes for a faster paced game this Saturday in the second test, which sees the series move across the Pennines to Huddersfield: “I think having a little bit of a dry track this week might be a little bit more of an advantage to us but you know it’s still going to be a tough game. The Tongan outfit have got some of the best players in the NRL playing for them there.

A win for the hosts in West Yorkshire would see them clinch the series with a game to spare, however Whitehead  not taking anything for granted ahead of this crucial game.

“We’re going to have to be on our game again this week,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll prepare well like we did last week and go down to Huddersfield and hopefully get the win.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in International Rugby League