Shaun Wane’s delight with defensive display - ‘That’s England’
and live on Freeview channel 276
In the third and final clash at Headingley Stadium, Wane’s side secured a 26-4 triumph, with Elliott Whitehead crossing on his 27th and final cap for England. He was joined by try-scoring team-mates Ben Currie, Matty Ashton and Harry Newman in the dominant victory, with the latter scoring on his home ground.
Tonga managed just 26 points altogether across the series and boss Wane admitted he was most impressed by his side’s defensive effort against a side that included NRL superstars Felise Kaufusi, Keaon Koloamatangi and Isaiya Katoa.
“I never thought we could have managed that,” the England head coach said.
“You look at the talent in their team, that was a tough ask.
“They’re big athletes and really good players, so to do that, the credit our players deserve is untrue.
“They had spells in that first half with five or six sets on our line. They can play, but I thought the desire to defend, and the detail in what we did, was absolutely outstanding.
“I showed a clip in the changing rooms with the last-gasp effort, we had already won the game, and two players nearly injured themselves stopping the try - that’s England.”
The 59-year-old coach also paid credit to his backroom staff following the series win - with ex-Wigan assistant Lee Briers having joined the international setup for the first time ahead of the three matches on home soil.
In his debut season as a coach in the NRL, Super League legend Briers helped Brisbane Broncos to this year’s NRL Grand Final, falling short to Penrith Panthers.
"Lee Briers has been really good, so has Andy Last - they are two really good coaches," Wane added.
"They're smart coaches, very calm, and they think the way I think. We've had a great time.
"I’m not ready to finish yet. The last four weeks have been so enjoyable and I’m back to walking my dogs now. I’d love to do another four weeks."