Rugby World Cup: Tonga 32-6 Wales – Tonga lead victory after first scare

Tonga (16) 32
Strive: Tupou 3, Fifita, Koloamatangi, Niu Objectives: Lolohea 3, Talakai
Wales (6) 6
Strive: Evans Goal: fozard

Tonga obtained their foot within the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup however have been pressured to work exhausting by a daring Welsh aspect.

Wales initially rocked Tonga at St Helens and led for a lot of the first half because of Kyle Evans’ advantageous strive.

However after Daniel Tupou crossed to place Tonga ahead, two fast tries simply earlier than half-time from David Fifita and Keaon Koloamatangi put them in cost.

Tonga kicked into excessive gear after the break, with Tupou finishing their hat trick round a Tesi Niu strive.

A win over Prepare dinner Islands of their closing pool recreation subsequent week will affirm Tonga as Group D winners and a quarter-final recreation towards Group A runners-up – possible Samoa or France, England being first within the group in the event that they win their closing recreation towards Greece downstairs.

Wales’ hopes, in the meantime, cling by a thread after already dropping their opener to the Prepare dinner Islands 5 days in the past as they proceed to hunt a maiden World Cup win. world since 2000.

To have any likelihood of staying on this match, John Kear’s aspect want Papua New Guinea to beat the Prepare dinner Islands on Tuesday evening after which obtain a shock outcome towards PNG of their closing group encounter in Doncaster subsequent Monday.

Kear refreshed his squad by bringing Gavin Bennion, Kyle Evans, James Olds and Luke Thomas to his 19-man match squad rather than Will Evans, Rhodri Lloyd, Mike Butt and the injured Ben Evans – out of rivalry with a throat harm.

Tonga welcomed again Konrad Hurrell however once more discovered themselves with out injured Will Hopoate and captain Jason Taumalolo, suspended till the ultimate group recreation.

Kristian Woolf’s aspect have been as soon as once more taking part in on the Completely Depraved Stadium, his dwelling since 2020 the place he coached St Helens to the membership’s first Problem Cup in 13 years plus three successive Grand Closing victories.

Wales entered Woolf’s lair as enormous underdogs, with their largely semi-professional pool dealing with a Mate Ma’a Tonga aspect filled with NRL and Tremendous expertise League.

After Tonga laid down an emotional Sipi Tau, Kasey Badger – making historical past by turning into the first woman to referee a men’s Rugby League World Cup match – whistled to start out what was a primary assembly between the 2 nations at any degree in rugby league.

Wales began sloppy, placing themselves below strain with poor dealing with and self-discipline, however survived after which clicked to cross the strive line first – solely to have Dalton Grant held up within the deal with by Talatau Amone and Niu.

However Kear’s crew was unmistakable when winger Evans delivered a crisp deal with to clear the ball then swung away to the road from Josh Ralph’s well-timed go, with Matty Fozard changing.

Evans is a current convert to the union league, with simply three video games for Wakefield Trinity below his belt, however has underlined his potential within the 13-man code with a high-class efficiency towards high-class opposition.

Tonga, stung, responded rapidly to put Tupou on the left with a fast scrimmage go, however Tuimoala Lolohea missed the fragile kick on objective.

Woolf’s aspect ought to have taken the lead when Sione Katoa broke via on the proper, however the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks winger juggled the go earlier than letting the ball slip via his fingers.

Kasey Badger took charge of Tonga against Wales to make history as the first woman to referee a men's Rugby League World Cup game
Kasey Badger took cost of Tonga towards Wales to make historical past as the primary girl to referee a males’s Rugby League World Cup recreation

Wales put their our bodies on the road as Tonga elevated their depth however conceded two tries minutes earlier than half-time that turned the sport the other way up.

Fifita first labored a lag towards Ollie Olds to easily break the whitewash, earlier than Koloamatangi seized on a scrappy defensive position to go excessive.

Lolohea scored each objectives to provide Tonga a 16-6 halftime lead.

Niu confirmed prowess and energy to smash Wales’ slippery protection for the opening second-half try to Tonga’s fourth of the evening – with Lolohea once more on track with the kick .

Joe Burke brilliantly put each fingers below the ball as Lolohea tried to attain nevertheless it was solely a short lived reprieve as Wales lacked numbers on their proper to permit Tupou in for his second of the evening.

A whitewash stain on the touchline prevented Toluta’u Koula from avoiding what would have been a sensational strive for Lolohea, the change diving to recuperate an arm kick from his ready half-back – the choice of the video referee’s no-try drawing good boos from the gang.

However whereas Wales have been drained, satisfaction and bravado weren’t sufficient to maintain Tonga at bay and Tupou scored a hat trick, with Siosifa Talakai taking up so as to add two further factors.

An obstruction disadvantaged Tupou of a fourth, however the Sydney Roosters winger had already earned his participant of the sport award.

Wales suffered one more disappointment with a late harm to Olds’ shoulder which may probably stop subsequent week’s conflict in Papua New Guinea.

Kristian Woolf, Tonga coach:

“It is a bit like final week, we improved a bit – we left loads of factors tonight simply with our primary passing and our execution.

“However I believe we defended very properly, we gave up a strive with the ball there a bit free, so I believe our self-discipline with the ball was a little bit of a problem for us all evening.

“We appeared to suppose it was going to be simpler than I suppose, and also you are likely to get a lesson while you exit considering like that.”

Wales supervisor John Kear:

“I do not suppose he [the scoreline] does us justice. The gamers are wholeheartedly, and it’s a must to take your hat off to them.

“They’re completely dedicated towards a terrific bodily and good rugby league crew and once more I am pleased with them however we have misplaced, we’re in defeat however the resilience is big.

“We now have to appreciate that they’re the full-time crew. We’re taking part in an NRL aspect – and a great NRL aspect – and that is why I am so proud of our efforts.”

Tonga: 22. Tesi Niu, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Siosifa Talakai, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 5. Sione Katoa, 6. Talatau Amone, 7. Tuimoala Lolohea, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 14. Soni Luke, 17. Moeaki Fotuaika, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Keaon Koloamatangi, 10. Sio Siua Taukeiaho (captain).

Trades : 16. Tevita Tatola, 18. David Fifita, 20. Toluta’u Koula, 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Wales: 1. Caleb Aekins, 22. Kyle Evans, 5. Dalton Grant, 6. Elliot Kear (captain), 2. Rhys Williams, 14. Ollie Olds, 7. Josh Ralph, 8. Anthony Walker, 9. Matty Fozard, 24. Gavin Bennion, 12 years previous. Chester Butler, 17. Bailey Antrobus, 16. Joe Burke.

Trades : 10. Dan Fleming, 15. Curtis Davies, 21. Tom Hopkins, 18. Connor Davies.

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