England head coach Shaun Wane was “absolutely desperate” for victory as he saw his side wrap up a series win over Tonga with a 14-4 triumph at the John Smith’s Stadium.
England were keen to continue the good work from their opening autumn Test match in St Helens last week, and opened the scoring in the sixth minute after Matty Ashton ran over in the corner before helping himself to another try when he pounced on Mikey Lewis’ wonderfully worked grubber kick.
Tonga reduced the deficit in the second half to 10 points when Toluta’u Koula raced over the whitewash but it was not enough to stop the hosts from going into an unassailable series advantage.
Following last week’s victory, much of the pre-match build up was made by Tonga after boss Kristian Woolf questioned referee Liam Moore as well as highlighting a difference in ruck speed between the teams.
England boss Wane wanted more from his players following last week’s victory but was pleased to see his side grab the win and prove some people wrong in the opposite camp.
He told a press conference: “I was absolutely desperate to win that game today.
“The things that have been said about my players this week and about my team, my mates really upset me so it was a massive motivator for us.
“Excuses about the ground not being right, every excuse about the ruck and our referees cheating so to prove them wrong by a firm pitch, really slow ruck and to get that two wins, I’ll be interested to see what the next excuse is.
“There’s been posters all round our dressing room, they did a lot of the talking themselves and the players were absolutely with me all the way.”
England have the series victory in the bag and will be looking to next week to seal the whitewash and Wane does not want his side to let the foot off the gas.
He added: “This week will be a really intense week.
“We will enjoy today but it will be work and we have a job to do on Saturday and I know the players have been fantastic in supporting me, we have to be obsessed about them seeing the best of us on Saturday.
“Winning is the only thing and playing well comes second. We will have a look at it in the next few days when we come down off cloud nine and fix a few things up.”
Tonga boss Woolf admitted his side were not good enough to get the win as his side slumped to a second defeat to England inside a week.
Woolf said: “We need to be a bit more disciplined, we gave away too many penalties and gave away too many unforced errors.
“It was a close game, a very tight game and they got one try and we didn’t quite get things right on the left edge.
“England had more discipline than us and had more discipline with the ball in terms of penalties and we need to be squeaky clean.”