'There's more to this Tongan team than two forwards' - England not buying into two-man show for RLWC semi




Tonga are far from a two-man band and England won't be treating them as one in their Rugby League World Cup semi-final, according to veteran prop James Graham.

Mate Ma'a Tonga shocked the rugby league world with a 28-22 win over New Zealand in Hamilton.
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England booked a final four berth against Tonga in Auckland next Saturday night after outplaying Papua New Guinea 36-6 at AAMI Park on Sunday.

The Tongans boast the firepower of NRL giants Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita, who both switched their allegiance to the minnows before the tournament.

But Graham said there were plenty more threats in the Tongan line-up than that duo.

"I know how good Taumalolo and Fifita are from experience but there's a lot more to this Tongan team than two forwards," said former Bulldogs captain Graham, who will play with St George Illawarra next season.

Adam Blair tried his best to keep his composure during a post-match interview after his side’s 4-2 loss in Wellington.
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"In the times I've seen them play they're a good side from one to 17 so to single out two players I think is disrespectful to the rest."

While England scored some impressive tries among the haul of seven, their completion rate was barely above 50 per cent which would be cause for concern against Tonga.

The Kiwis half was in shock after his side were unable to overcome Fiji in Wellington.
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"We know making errors have consequences no matter who is in the opposition," Graham said.

"The completion rate could be better but at the end of the day we scored 30-plus points in a quarter-final," Graham said.

"It's our biggest win over PNG in the last 10 years."

Tonga looked flat in their two-point win over Lebanon but Graham said he wasn't taking much out of that performance.

"Our focus is just on us - we're in the semi-final and we're going to be prepared for the best Tongan team that's going to complete and do everything well," he said.

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