‘Frail’ England can be beaten
25 November, 2017, 12:00 am
Mate Ma’a Tonga’s inaugural Rugby League World Cup captain Duane Mann believes England are ripe for the taking in tonight’s semi-final at Mount Smart Stadium.
After watching the tiny island nation power through the tournament unbeaten to date, Mann said that while England are supremely talented, they have some glaring weaknesses which give Tonga a real shot of becoming the first tier-two nation to qualify through to a World Cup final.
“England have a talented team, but from what they have been able to put on the paddock, they haven’t put a complete game together,” Mann told NRL.com.
“To be fair most teams haven’t, but they have got some real frailty around them with the number of errors that they have.
“There’s an inability in this English team to make the most of the opportunities they are getting.
“So in terms of form and potential, Tonga are looking very strong, but they need to squeeze a bit more form out of their players. They will go into the England game super red-hot confident.
“The other thing we will see is that they have an extra player with the crowd, the crowd at Mount Smart will go off, they will go crazy.”
With tournament officials expecting a capacity crowd of around 30,000 at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday night, England will be confronted with a hostile environment on Saturday night.
Tonga’s King George Tupou VI will also attend the match, the first time the head of Tongan royalty has attended a Mate Ma’a Tonga game since the 1995 World Cup.