Former Wigan Warriors boss Shaun Wane was as determined as ever to guide England to a series win over Tonga after feeling disrespected by them and the comments from their captain and coach who is of course former St Helens boss Kristian Woolf.
After winning the second game and securing the series as a whole, Wane listed everything they had given Tonga in the second game to take away their excuses: a dry pitch, a slow ruck and a physical game.
This led to him saying to the media after the game that he was desperate to win the game after being upset by the comments from the Tongan camp: “I’m really, really proud. I was absolutely desperate to win that game today, just from the things that’s been said about my players this week, and about my team, my mates, really upset me.
“It was a massive motivator for us, them talking about how ‘we didn’t win the game’, they don’t know Mikey, and the ground wasn’t right and it was heavy. The excuse about the ruck and the referees cheating, so to prove them wrong by a firm pitch, a really slow ruck, and they couldn’t have anything their own way again.
“It was just showing a lot of disrespect from the players so to get those two wins is great and I’d be interested to see what the next excuse is.”
As Wane listed the things England had delivered in this second test, he also praised the attendance saying they delivered the crowd.
Once again, the attendance was a five figure crowd just over 11,000. This was slightly less than the first game but still a crowd comparable to the highest attended Super League games in a week. However, it is perhaps less than the crowd you would expect for an international game.
Many fans are disappointed that the attendance was unable to reach 20,000 or even 15,000. Many are also wondering about what the attendance could look like next week with the series already won by England and with reports that Shaun Wane will bring in new faces to feature in the final test.