RLFANS.COM
Celebrating
22 years service to
the Rugby League
Community!

A packed Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland at absolute fever pitch was the venue for the second semi-final as England took on Tonga for the honour of taking on Australia in next weeks final.

 

Wayne Bennett was able to name an unchanged seventeen after Kevin Brown was declared fit and the Warrington half was teamed up with Luke Gale at scrum half and Gareth Widdop at full back. The much fancied Tonga made just one change from the side who were pushed all the way by Lebanon last week with prop Sio Taukeiaho replacing Ofahengaue.

 

The hopes of an expectant nation rested on seventeen men in white.

 

The opening exchanges were a bit scruffy from both sides with neither able to make much of an attacking impact as defences dominated. 

 

On eleven, James Graham released Gareth Widdop for sixty metre break downfield. England forced a scrum inside then Tongan twenty and from the back of it they moved the ball wide right for Jermaine McGillvary to dive over in the right corner on the overlap. Widdop added the conversion courtesy of the far upright to settle England nerves with a 6-0 lead.

 

A sensational flowing Tongan passing move on fourteen should have resulted in a try but a pass after the tackle on the try line resulted in an England penalty.

 

On sixteen an Elliott Whitehead offload went into the hands of Widdop who crawled to the line to ground. Referee Cecchin sent the decision to the video referee as a NO TRY for a double-movement, but was overruled and England had a 10-0 lead which was further extended by the Widdop conversion.

 

Josh Hodgson went off with knee injury on twenty-three and was replaced by James Roby as Tonga started establishing foothold in the England half. After repelling the Tonga onslaught England managed to get some quality time in their opponents half. The second twenty of the game was a much more even encounter and with neither side managing a further score it was 12-0 at the interval.

 

Three minutes into the second half, Daniel Tupou dropped the ball off a Will Hopoate pass with the try line begging and the whole of England breathed a sigh of relief.

 

When England were given a penalty for a second effort thirty metres from the Tonga line, Widdop kicked the two to extend the lead to 14-0.

 

On sixty-six John Bateman took a Widdop pass to spin off the Tongan tackler and drop over the line to edge England into the World Cup Final. Widdop added the goal for a 20-0 lead.

 

On seventy-two Tonga got what looks like a consolation try when Tevita Pangai Junior burrowed under a pile of England tacklers to ground on the line. Sio Taukeiaho added the goal for 20-6. But three minutes later and Silvia Havili went from acting half-back to dive over after a fast play the ball and Taukeiaho again kicked the goal to reduce the arrears to 20-12 the impossible was back on the cards.

 

On seventy-seven Tuimaoala Lolohea made it three tries in five minutes when he took a pass to go through an exhausted England defence to score under the sticks. Taukeiaho again added the conversion to set up the most nail biting of last two minutes.

 

Tonga gave it everything in those last two minutes while desperate last ditch defence managed to keep them out and England had a two point win.

 

It was another victory for England but they came close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It was a superb game and a great finish as England progress to the ultimate prize, the World Cup final. A fantastic defensive effort for over seventy minutes was ruined by three big lapses in the closing minutes.

 

All credit to Tonga who never gave up, but England will now know that they will have to be even better next week to have a chance of shocking the Aussies.

 

This will be the third World Cup Final meeting between England and Australia, the first since Australia won by 16-8 in 1995, and while the Kangaroos will be favourites few people would entirely rule out a Wayne Bennett coached side.

 

England: Widdop (T, 4G), McGillvary (T), Watkins, Bateman (T), Hall, Brown, Gale, Hill, Hodgson, Graham, S. Burgess, Whitehead, O'Loughlin.  Subs: Walmsley, Currie, T. Burgess, Roby.

 

Tonga: Hopoate, Tupou, Jennings, Hurrell, Fusitu’a, Lolohea (T), Hingano, Fifita, Havili (T), Taukeiaho (3G), Ma’u, Manu, Taumalolo.  Subs: Katoa, Terepo , Murdoch-Masila, Pangai Jnr (T).

 

Referee: Matt Cecchin.

 

Half-Time: 12-0.

 

Full-Time: 20-18.

 

Attendance: 30,003.

 




facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
pinterest sharing button
email sharing button
sharethis sharing button


Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 25th Nov 2017 7:15 AM | Views : 37755 | Replies : 18 | BACK TO STORIES
POSTSONLINEMEMBERSRECORD
19.2Million +11,736 ↑1478,7349,567
YOUR SELECTED TEAM LOGIN
LOGIN HERE
or REGISTER for more features!.
When you register you get access to the live match scores, live match chat and you can post in the discussions on the forums.
YOU HAVE RL CHAT OFF
RLFANS Match Centre
 Full Time.
(Hover Score)
 
NRL
Manly
42-6
Sydney
TODAY 19:45
SL
Leeds
v
Hull KR
TODAY 19:45
SL
Salford
v
St.Helens
TODAY 19:45
SL
Wakefield
v
Hull FC
TODAY 19:45
SL
Wigan
v
Catalans
TOMORROW 10:50
NRL
Penrith
v
Parramatta
TOMORROW 15:00
 CH
Newcastle
v
Toulouse
Sun 19th Sep 15:00
SL
Huddersfield
v
Leigh
Sun 19th Sep 15:00
 CH
Bradford
v
Whitehaven
Sun 19th Sep 15:00
 CH
Dewsbury
v
Oldham
Sun 19th Sep 15:00
 CH
Featherstone
v
Sheffield
Sun 19th Sep 15:00
 CH
Halifax
v
Batley
Sun 19th Sep 15:00
 CH
Swinton
v
Widnes
Sun 19th Sep 15:00
 CH
York
v
LondonB
ALL SCORES PROVIDED BY RLFANS.COM (SETTINGS)
Fri 17th Sep
NRL
LIVE
Manly42-6Sydney
Thu 16th Sep
SL RND: 25 Castleford24-40Warrington
Sun 12th Sep
SL RND: 24 Leigh26-18Wakefield
NRL RND: 26 Parramatta28-20Newcastle
CH RND: 21 Batley24-31Dewsbury
CH RND: 21 LondonB28-48Featherstone
CH RND: 21 Oldham24-38Newcastle
CH RND: 21 Whitehaven19-6Halifax
CH RND: 21 Widnes10-9Bradford
CH RND: 21 Sheffield28-34Swinton
L1 RND: 21 Workington14-32Hunslet
L1 RND: 21 Doncaster26-28Keighley
L1 RND: 21 Rochdale50-22Coventry
WSL RND: 15 CastlefordW6-50St.HelensW
WSL RND: 15 Wire W18-34FeatherstoneW
WSL RND: 15 LeedsW28-10WiganW
Sat 11th Sep
SL RND: 24 Hull FC0-10Wigan
SL RND: 24 Warrington20-19Salford
SL RND: 24 Catalans18-30Huddersfield
SL RND: 24 Hull KR26-19Castleford
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2021 ROUND : 25
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Melbourne 24 815 316 499 42
Penrith 24 640 280 360 42
Souths 24 775 453 322 40
Manly 24 744 492 252 32
Sydney 24 636 475 161 32
Parramatta 24 566 457 109 30
Newcastle 24 428 571 -143 24
Gold Coast 24 568 553 15 20
 
Cronulla 24 512 556 -44 20
Canberra 24 481 578 -97 20
St.George 24 474 616 -142 16
NZ Warriors 24 453 624 -171 16
Wests 24 500 714 -214 16
Brisbane 24 446 695 -249 14
NQL Cowboys 24 460 748 -288 14
Canterbury 24 340 710 -370 6
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVI ROUND : 25
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Catalans 22 680 386 294 38 176.17 86.36
St.Helens 20 534 203 331 32 263.05 80
Warrington 21 588 354 234 31 166.10 73.81
Wigan 24 375 377 -2 28 99.47 58.33
Hull KR 19 485 422 63 20 114.93 52.63
Leeds 23 520 428 92 24 121.50 52.17
 
Castleford 23 439 552 -113 22 79.53 47.83
Hull FC 20 397 432 -35 17 91.90 42.50
Huddersfield 23 418 492 -74 16 84.96 34.78
Wakefield 23 438 536 -98 16 81.72 34.78
Salford 21 376 572 -196 12 65.73 28.57
Leigh 21 332 828 -496 4 40.10 9.52
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2021 ROUND : 20
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Toulouse 13 616 112 504 26 550 100
Featherstone 19 817 254 563 34 321.65 94.74
Halifax 19 512 323 189 26 158.51 68.42
Bradford 18 483 455 28 24 106.15 66.67
LondonB 18 504 499 5 21 101 63.89
Batley 19 525 370 155 24 141.89 63.16
 
Whitehaven 20 447 496 -49 21 90.12 52.50
York 19 470 455 15 16 103.30 42.11
Widnes 19 458 509 -51 15 89.98 39.47
Newcastle 18 381 521 -140 13 73.13 36.11
Sheffield 18 382 553 -171 13 69.08 36.11
Dewsbury 19 308 570 -262 13 54.04 34.21
Oldham 19 270 691 -421 5 39.07 13.16
Swinton 20 354 719 -365 3 49.24 7.50
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2021 ROUND : 22
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
Barrow 17 596 275 321 27 216.73 79.41
Workington 15 471 310 161 21 151.94 70
Crusaders 17 539 410 129 22 131.46 64.71
Doncaster 17 472 390 82 22 121.03 64.71
Keighley 18 612 385 227 23 158.96 63.89
Hunslet 18 562 435 127 20 129.20 55.56
 
Rochdale 17 505 488 17 17 103.48 50
Coventry 17 407 460 -53 12 88.48 35.29
LondonS 18 292 577 -285 7 50.61 19.44
West Wales 18 208 896 -688 1 23.21 2.78
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Womens Super League 2021 ROUND : 9
 PLDFADIFFPTSDIFFWP%
St.HelensW 7 370 36 334 12 1,027.78 85.71
WiganW 6 222 64 158 10 346.88 83.33
YorkW 6 186 102 84 8 182.35 66.67
CastlefordW 6 166 96 70 8 172.92 66.67
BradfordW 8 158 264 -106 6 59.85 37.50
Hudds W 7 104 288 -184 4 36.11 28.57
 
Wire W 8 150 334 -184 4 44.91 25
FeatherstoneW 8 122 338 -216 4 36.09 25
LeedsW 7 364 38 326 14 957.89 100
WakefieldW 7 50 332 -282 0 15.06 0
RLFANS Recent Posts




X
::::::::