Attendance revealed for England’s Test match against Tonga at St Helens

ENGLAND played out a 22-18 win over Tonga in the first match of the three-game Test Series yesterday afternoon and what a cracker it proved to be!

Mikey Lewis was superb throughout whilst Jack Welsby and Harry Smith also played their part as 12,898 people flocked to the Totally Wicked Stadium – the home of St Helens – to watch.

A brilliant Mikey Lewis break set the platform for the first try of the afternoon with Toby King going in following a Victor Radley pass. Harry Smith’s superb conversion made it 6-0 after nine minutes.

The visitors hit back five minutes later when Starford To’a finished well in the corner on his Tonga debut. However, Isaiya Katoa couldn’t convert as England still led 6-4.

A perfectly threaded kick saw another debutant register a four-pointer when Tyson Frizell followed up a pinpoint Tui Lolohea grubber just after the midway point in the first-half. Katoa’s conversion made it 10-6 to Tonga.

It was the third debutant that crossed on the half-hour mark when more Lewis magic saw the halfback dummy his way through the line for a special solo score. Smith knocked over the extras to restore England’s two-point lead at 12-10.

Katoa levelled proceedings just before half-time when England were found guilty of pushing in the ruck, but the Tongan halfback missed the chance to go into the sheds with the lead with a missed penalty.

It was a game of nip and tuck early in the second-half, but it was a brilliant pass from Jack Welsby that saw Tom Johnstone grab a try on his own debut on 54 minutes. Smith couldn’t convert as England led 16-12.

And Johnstone notched his second shortly after, intercepting a loose pass to run in from halfway. Smith converted to make it 22-12.

Tom Burgess almost made it safe with eight minutes to go, but he was held up and the Tongans hit back as Tolutau Koula flew in at the corner for a fantastic try. Katoa converted to set up a grandstand finish at 22-18, but England held on.

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