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Tongans Too Strong For Cooks

Tonga thrashed Cook Islands 50-12 in the Oceania Rugby Under-20 Trophy competition at the ANZ Stadium yesterday. Tonga dominated the first half shutting out Cook Islands with tries from winger
03 Dec 2016 14:31
Tongans Too Strong For Cooks
Tongan captain Sione Va’Eno on the attack against Cook Islands at the ANZ Stadium yesterday. Photo: Bruce Southwick/Zoomfiji.

Tonga thrashed Cook Islands 50-12 in the Oceania Rugby Under-20 Trophy competition at the ANZ Stadium yesterday.

Tonga dominated the first half shutting out Cook Islands with tries from winger Hufangahau Latu, Sione Vaihu and two tries from fullback Viliame Kaufisi.

Cook Islands only managed to get one try in before halftime from centre Gene Te Amo.

Halftime: Tonga 24-5 Cook Islands.

Both teams up the tempo in the second spell as Akau scored two tries, 38-5.

But Cook Islands replied with a try to Henry Tetini converted by Tanire Mokoroa, 38-12.

Tonga was too strong though as Latu scored his second try in the game closely followed by Kaufisi with a hat- trick to end the game, 50-12.

Tonga head coach Tuivaita Ueleni said though they had a comfortable win, they still have a lot of work to do ahead of their clash against Fiji next Saturday.

“There is still a lot of improvement to the done, especially in our set pieces,” Ueleni said.

“We know in order to beat Fiji we need to get everything right from the beginning.

“The boys did not really play to my expectations and we lack the continuity.”

Meanwhile, Cook Islands coach Stan Wright said they have a lot to take back after their losses to Tonga and Fiji.

“The game against Tonga was obviously better than against Fiji,” Wright said.

“We went through some periods where we held onto the ball and kept them scoreless for awhile but the difference began to show.

“We will definitely learn from that. The job now is keeping the boys interested and getting more interest from other boys.

“We have had a lot of injuries in this short span of time which tells us the boys are not conditioned for this tournament.

“We got to start giving opportunities for these young players and of course open it up to other guys


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