After defeating Hong Kong 44-22 at the Sunshine Stadium in Queensland, Australia, Tonga will play in Pool B at the France Rugby World Cup. The highlight of Tonga’s 44-22 victory over struggling Hong Kong in the Asia/Pacific 1 play-off on Saturday at the Sunshine Coast Stadium in Australia was Captain Sonatane Takalua’s hat trick. This earned Tonga a spot at the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
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The ‘Ikale Tahi will play in Pool B and begin their RWC 2023 campaign on September 16 against Ireland in Nantes. They then play Scotland on September 24 in Nice, South Africa on October 1 in Marseille, and Romania on October 8 in Lille. After the game, Takalua felt relieved that they had become the 19th team to say they would be going to France next year.
Tonga’s Rugby World Cup three-try hero said, I am lucky to get these three tries, but it wasn’t just me. It was a pronounced determination from all the boys, and it is a big liberation to change to win. We always have sustenance from Tongans wherever we go, so having this kind of support tonight was a big push for us.
The Tonga RWC team had a chance to score a lot of points in the first half, playing against a strong breeze, but two missed tries left them frustrated. Tima Fainga’anuku was denied a knock-on by Takalua at the base of the ruck before a short side play, and Solomone Funaki, who is always a danger, had an attempt from a maul marked off for impediment.
Tonga a double-digit lead in the Rugby World Cup:
Tonga scored their first try thanks to strong carries from open side Funaki and inside center Fetuli Paea. Takalua scored from close range, and Havili converted to give Tonga a double-digit lead. As the first Rugby World Cup quarter came to a close, Hong Kong finally got their hands on the ball, scoring a try on their first visit inside the Tongan 22 when hooker Alex Post was placed in the corner by clever passing.
Hong Kong was under a lot of pressure at this RWC point, especially during scrum time, and they gave up five penalties in the first ten minutes. Tonga had a lot of territory and possession, but they hadn’t scored yet. In the 11th minute, another mistake by Hong Kong paid off, and fly-half William Havili’s reliable left foot scored three points.
Tonga picked up the pace once more as a result of the score and pressed for a second try. Takalua went for the line himself after the forwards had done well, and when he stretched for the line, it looked like the scrum half had lost control of the ball. However. Referee Damon Murphy awarded the try after consulting with Havili’s TMO, and Havili added the extras for a 17-5 lead in the Rugby World Cup. For more know about New Zealand World Cup Tickets.
Hong Kong got inside the Tongan 22 almost immediately, and Tom Hill took the ball on with a strong carry. Tonga was retreating, with a superb dummy and run by fullback Nate de Thierry, so hooker Siua Maile was sent to the penalty box for illegally slowing down the ball at the ruck into the RWC. The subsequent penalty was taken by Gregor McNeish.
Tonga continued to appear to be the most likely team to score despite being down to 14 Rugby World Cup men after Havili’s second penalty at the half-hour mark. However, additional chances went begging when Sione Havili Talitui knocked on inches short and Maile’s bustling run down the left touchline was ended by a brilliant cover tackle from McNeish shortly after he was reinstated from the sin bin.
Tonga’s start was impeccable in the RWC:
Tonga got off to a perfect start in the second half thanks to a third try from Takalua two minutes after the game was restarted. Hong Kong had a chance to win when untied Siegfried Fisi’ihoi crashed over at the back of a maul with 47 minutes left. Tonga’s RWC squad’s next score came after a scrappy period of play when winger Telusa Veainu completed a set-piece move on the hour mark as a result of their scrum dominance. Havili put the two past misses behind him to open the transformation.
The play had begun by this time, and another winger for Veainu, Anzelo Tuitavuki, got in on the action through the best score of the match, a scorching 65-meter effort that included a goosestep for good measure. With Havili’s sixth kick of the Rugby World Cup game, the score was 44-8 in favor of Tonga, and their fans were cheering loudly.
It’s a credit to Hong Kong that they didn’t give up RWC. In the 75th minute, Matt Worley did a great job of collecting McNeish’s crossfield kick and scoring their second try. Worley then received a second kick as the clock struck zero. The Bedford Blues flyer used his blistering pace to take advantage of the favorable bounce of Bryn Philips’ speculative punt downfield in his favor. For more know about Rugby World Cup Tickets.
The match came to a satisfying conclusion thanks to Hong Kong, who will have another chance in November to qualify for their first Rugby World Cup 2023. They will compete in the Final Qualification Tournament, a four-team round-robin competition with Portugal (Europe 3), Kenya (Africa 2), and USA Americas 3 as the Asia / Pacific runners-up.
Josh Hirsch, captain and number eight for Hong Kong, stated, I am extremely proud of our boys for giving it everything. It is not the result we wanted. We had three weeks together – investors, representatives, PTs, shine part-time rugby battlers who got an epic opportunity, a nonconformist game against Tonga in the Rugby World Cup.
Tonga attempts to win the Rugby World Cup:
We threw the kitchen hand basin at it until the very end because we said we weren’t going to die pondering what might have been. I cannot postpone for us to move forward together. As Tonga tries to win the Rugby World Cup for the first time, Kristian Woolf has selected one of the strongest league teams ever.
Helens to their fourth consecutive Super League championship has included 21 NRL players in his team for the France Rugby World Cup tournament this fall. Will Hopoate St Helens, Konrad Hurrell St Helens, and Tui Lolohea are the three Super League players he has incorporated into his roster. Agnatius Paasi, who has been one of the Super League’s best front-rowers this season, cannot play.
Tonga forward David Fifita, on the other hand, is expected to make his debut this week against France in a World Cup warm-up match. Jason Taumalolo, the team’s star, will not play in their first two games against Papua New Guinea and Wales or their game against France this weekend. Because of a tackle during North Queensland’s semi-final loss to Parramatta, he received a three-game suspension. Tonga is part of a group that also includes Wales, Papua New Guinea, and the Cook Islands. On October 18, they play Papua New Guinea at St. Helen’s to kick off their Rugby World Cup.
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