Southgate has urged his side to learn from that example when they face Croatia in the second leg of their matchup.
He told reporters: "We can't afford to get drawn into any of that. The Rugby League on Saturday was a classic example why. You have to rise to the challenge physically – we are not here to be pushed over – but you have to keep a cool head.
"We have walked into this town to do a job and that has to remain our priority over everything else. Whatever happens in the game we have to make sure we are capable of dealing with it with 11 players on the pitch."
England take a 2-1 lead into their clash later today in Vinkovci.