SPORTS

Tonga A Record Historic Win

  Tonga A 30, Samoa A 22 Tonga A beat Samoa A for the first time in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge at the ANZ Stadium, Suva yesterday. Tonga A
15 Mar 2017 11:00
Tonga A Record Historic Win
Tonga A team recorded their first win against Samoa A . Photo: Ronald Kumar.

 

Tonga A 30, Samoa A 22

Tonga A beat Samoa A for the first time in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge at the ANZ Stadium, Suva yesterday.

Tonga A coach, Isi Fatani told SUNsports that his players played according to what they have planned.

“We haven’t beaten Samoa but we have beaten them today,” Fatani said.

“I just spoke to the boys and told them discipline is one area they need to focus on and to play smart rugby throughout the 80 minutes.”

 

What happened: A very physical encounter in the first half as the two Polynesian rivals battled it out as they tried to secure their first win in the competition.

Samoa A started well as they penetrated through the strong Tongan defensive line to score the opening try to winger Danny Tusitala and converted by captain, Patrick Fa’apale.

The Tongans regrouped and strengthened their attacking structure and got rewarded when fullback James Faiva converted their first penalty. The Tongans continued on the pressure and Feofaaki Kaumavae crashed over for their first try.

Pressure mounted on the Samoans and their No.8 Tietie Tuimauga was sent to the bin and this allowed Tonga A to score their second try through Topui Sekona, which was converted by Faiva. He later slotted in another Tongan penalty just before half time as they led 18-7.

 

Halftime: Tonga A 18-7 Samoa A

The start of the second half was scrappy with the Samoan adding three points to their tally through a Fa’apale penalty.

The Tongans were dominant in possession, which saw Kaumavae diving over for their third try while the Samoans only had themselves to blame for giving away penalties. Daniel Hytounge was sinned binned after a scuffle with Tongan captain Sione Lolohea.

With the Samoans down to 14-men, the Tongans took advantage of the situation as winger Tuihakavalu Ika strolled over for their fourth try, which was converted by Faiva.

Samoa A came back strongly and got a penalty try as Tonga’s Constantin Kauvaka was sinned binned. Samoa A had the final say as Junior Malielegaoi scored a try just before full time.

 

Big Play: Tonga A side put up a gutsy performance as they were able to utilise possession and were ruthless in defence. This gave them the edge over the experienced Samoa A side.

 

Star Turn: The Tongans improved their discipline which was also one area that contributed to their victory.

 

Comments: Tonga head coach Isi Fatani said:

“First of all I want to thank the boys for their great performance and I think we did what we wanted to do in this game.”

Samoa A lock Mikaele Tapili was disappointed with his team’s performance.

“Disappointing to lose to Tonga A and the first time they have beaten us and credit to them for the great performance. Discipline is one area we have to work on and we need maturity in the side.”

Tonga A 30 (Tries: Feofaaki Kaumavae (2),Topui Sekona, Tuihakavalu Ika, Penalty: James Faiva (2), Cons: James Faiva (2).

Samoa A 22 (Tries: Danny Tusitala, Penalty try, Junior Malielegaoi. Con: Patrick Fa’apale. Penalty: Patrick Fa’apale)

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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