SPORTS

Star Winger Returns From Injury

  Former NRL and Super Rugby star winger Cooper Vuna takes the field today for Tonga in their showdown against Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup clash at the ANZ
16 Jun 2018 10:26
Star Winger Returns From Injury
Tonga rugby players and coaches have a discussion during training at Albert Park, Suva. Photo: Karalaini Tavi

 

Former NRL and Super Rugby star winger Cooper Vuna takes the field today for Tonga in their showdown against Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup clash at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

Cooper is among the four new faces and one position change made by coach Toutai Kefu.

Siua Halanukonuka joins the front row, with Sitiveni Mafi given the nod at blindside flanker. Vuna makes his first appearance of the season on the left wing, after recovering from injury, while Viliami Lolohea earns his first test start on the right, with David Halaifonua shuffling across to fullback.

Kefu says a lack of execution proved costly in their 16-15 Pacific Nations Cup loss to Georgia.

“I thought we had a chance, especially when we still had that one possession to play off the kickoff,” he said.

“But we created a lot of opportunities- we didn’t take them all or execute them all. We have a goal of executing 50 percent of all the opportunities and I don’t think we got nowhere near that.”

The Pacific Nations Cup wraps up today in a match that doubles as a winner- takes all title decider.

 

Tonga: 1. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 2. Paula Ngauamo, 3. Siua Halanukonuka, 4. Leva Fifita, 5. Joe Tu’ineau, 6. Sitiveni Mafi, 7. Fotu Lokotui, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Sonatane Takulua, 10. Kurt Morath, 11. Cooper Vuna, 12. Siale Piutau (c) 13. Nafi Tu’itavake, 14. Viliami Lolohea, 15. David Halaifonua. Replacements: 16. Sefo Sakalia, 17. David Feao, 18. Ben Tameifuna, 19. Valentino Mapapalangi, 20. Maama Vaipulu, 21. Suke Tuumotooa, 22. Latiume Fosita, 23. Sione Fifita.

 

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Luke Pearce (England); Assistant 1: Brendon Pickerill (NZ); Assistant 2: Jordan Way (Australia); TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Edited by  Osea Bola

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