Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Tongan Rugby League team have set the tone early on in the Pacific Rim Tournament in Auckland, by thrashing Fiji 56-6 at North Harbour Stadium yesterday.
Both nations performed their hakas simultaneously, which sent the crowd of little under 900 into a pre-match frenzy.
The Tongan players had the size and the strength to push aside the determined Fiji side, putting on an incredible 30 points in the first 20 minutes of the match.
However to Fiji?s credit, they held on and only let in 26 points for the remainder of the match, with second rower Divavesi who was rewarded with the only Fijian try after a strong run from 10 metres out.
The Tongan team now under the guidance of former Kangaroo Royce Simmons showed plenty of talent and class, and showed a glimpse that they could be a team of force come the 2008 World Cup. It took over 25 minutes for Tonga to produce a handling error, after which they already had 30 points on the board.
Unfortunately no team listings were handed out, but several of the Tongan players showed that under the right guidance, that they could be a force at an NRL club.
For Fiji, they lack the size in the forwards to really worry the Tongans, but they continually put their bodies on the line to try and stop the huge Tongan forwards. More often than not it would take up to three Fijians to stop a Tongan player, which left lots of space for the big fast Tongan backs.
Tonga will now line up against Cook Islands tomorrow night, while Fiji will have to wait to Thursday before they too line up against the Cook Islands.
L.Sete, E. Uaisele (2), V. Lilo (2), S. Tuli (2), T. Moa (2), L. Moala, I. Vainikolo tries, V. Lilo (6) goals
T. Divavesi try A. Tinivata goal
Courtesy of: http://www.rugbyleaguenz.com