At the home of Leeds Rhinos, England completed a series whitewash win over Tonga thanks to tries from Warrington Wolves duo Ben Currie and Matty Ashton, the departing Elliott Whitehead and of course the man Leeds fans came to see Harry Newman.
The win sealed a 3-0 triumph over Kristian Woolf’s men after lots of negative talk about the series from a number of different areas. Some fans complained about the selected venues for the venue, the Australia media have almost exclusively ignored the series and Tonga have of course been accused of making excuses.
After the first Test, Woolf and others complained about the pitch at St Helens, the ruck speed and the overall officiating and those complaints didn’t cease. The comments that England didn’t win the first Test but Tonga lost it caused a stir in Shaun Wane certainly.
But his former Wigan Warriors player John Bateman has seemingly also taken exception to some comments made including being written off. This is because Bateman said on X: “When they say yous don’t stand a chance and will lose the series but then go win the series 3-0. Good to be back on twitter.”
The Man of the Match of the Third Test thanks to two crucial offloads to create the opening two tries also added on Instagram: “Absolute unreal 3 weeks with an unreal group of men. Representing my country is the biggest honour and achievement there is and to do it with such a great bunch of people makes it extra special. Exciting times for this group. Over and out for the year with rugby. See you all in 2024.”
Meanwhile, try scorer Harry Newman added on Instagram: “WHITEWASH! Three weeks with a top bunch of boys. Memories made that will live with me forever! Grateful to have been given this opportunity!”
Whilst one of the stand out players of the series, Harry Smith, also celebrated with a cheeky Instagram post saying: “Not been a bad few weeks.”
For England it is a statement win for them but a sign that they need to build on that moving forward and the next series is vitally important.