Shaun Wane reveals England motivation following historic win as head coach admits to feeling ‘disrespected’ by Tonga
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Tonga head coach Kristian Woolf and captain Addin Fonua-Blake made numerous bold statements following their opening 22-18 defeat in St Helens, including questions over the performance of referee Liam Moore and the speed of the ruck last Sunday.
New Zealand Warriors star forward Fonua-Blake suggested that his side had “handed” the home nation the win at the Totally Wicked Stadium, comments that England boss Wane revealed ‘upset’ him after the win in west Yorkshire.
And the 59-year-old head coach confessed that he used the comments to spur on his players during the week’s preparation, with the series now won with a game to spare.
England out-enthused their opposition with frustrations showing post-match following a coming together between the Tongan skipper and veteran Chris Hill.
“I’m really proud, I was absolutely desperate to win that game today,” Wane said.
“The things that were said about my players during the week and about my team, it really upset me.
“It was a massive motivator for us about their comments on how we didn’t win the game, the ground not being right and every excuse about the ruck and referees.
“It showed disrespect for my players and to get those two wins, I’ll be interested to see what the next excuse is.
“There’s been posters [of Tonga’s comments] all round our dressing room. It was my easiest day ever today.
"It was a balance about not getting too excited but we wanted to get the job done.”
On only his second international appearance, Warrington winger Matty Ashton bagged a brace with Harry Smith converting three goals from four attemps in front of a crowd of 11,210.
And with the first-ever series between the two nations already won, Wane admits he wants a whitewash in Leeds next weekend at Headingley Stadium.
“I want 3-0, no question about that,” he added.
“This week will be a really intense week. My players have been fantastic with me and believing in what I’ve been saying.
“We’ll enjoy today, but then it’ll be straight back to work.”