International round-up: England win Stateside, NSW clinch Origin series, Tonga impress again

Drew Darbyshire

Representative rugby league is the pinnacle of the sport and there was some serious talent on show on the weekend.

England put on an entertaining show to beat New Zealand 36-18 in emphatic fashion at Mile High Stadium in Denver, United States. Jake Connor and Tommy Makinson made their England debuts, while Elliott Whitehead picked up the man of the match award.

In the first game of a Pacific Test double-header at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Fiji took on Papua New Guinea. The Kumuls came out firing and caused an upset against last year’s World Cup semi-finalists in Fiji, winning 26-14. Cronulla Sharks hooker James Segeyaro was the standout player, while Melbourne Storm’s Justin Olam also had a good game for PNG.

Tonga continued their good form from the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with a 38-22 win over Pacific island rivals Samoa. The Mate Ma’a led 30-6 at the break, but Toa Samoa reduced the deficit thanks to a spirited second half display. Canterbury Bulldogs full-back Will Hopoate was fantastic for Tonga.

New South Wales claimed the State of Origin title thanks to an 18-14 victory over Queensland in game two at the ANZ Stadium. James Maloney was senseational for the Blues. Josh Addo-Carr, Boyd Cordner and Latrell Mitchell all got on the scoresheet for Brad Fittler’s Blues.

International results from June 2018:

England 36-18 New Zealand (19,320)

Fiji 14-26 Papua New Guinea (17,802)

Samoa 22-38 Tonga (17,802)

New South Wales 18-14 Queensland (82,223)