Ex-St Helens man Jon Wilkin highly critical of Kristian Woolf’s Tonga despite win over Wales

Last night after 36 minutes a real shock was brewing at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

After a superb try from Kyle Evans after he produced a huge hit and then received the ball to streak away, Wales led 6-0 against one of the favourites for World Cup glory Tonga.

A Daniel Tupou try made it 6-4 but Tonga still appeared to be on the back foot.

Eventually two tries in the last four minutes of the first half gave Tonga the lead and they would plough ahead in the second half but that first half performance had Jon Wilkin criticising the attitude of Kristian Woolf’s Tonga team in the first half.

The former St Helens man said: “I question Tonga’s attitude tonight. I think their attitude is weak. They look flat, really flat. They look tired.

“I think the movement has been sluggish and I think Wales competed with them for such long periods in that first half.”

He ultimately did concede that inevitably the quality of the Tongan team was far too “lethal” and led to the win, but Woolf may very well agree with Wilkin about that first half and know that his side will have to start games stronger when the quarter-finals come around.

Nonetheless, Wilking did praise their ball carriers when things finally clicked: “As we said, if you give Tonga enough possession, they were going to get it right eventually and they had too many ball carries that when they get it right they are lethal.”

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