Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Rugby World Cup

Tonga joy at All Blacks result



Tonga rejoiced in their best ever result against the All Blacks on Friday including a hard-earned try after 15 minutes camped on the opposition try-line.

Captain Finau Maka praised a gutsy and disciplined second-half performance from the Sea Eagles which restricted the All Blacks to 41-10, their closest game in four encounters dating back to 1999.

Tonga's average result against the pre-tournament favourites had been a 74-point deficit, but Maka's men frustrated New Zealand in the second half with Alisona Taumalolo barging over after a long spell of pressure.

"The boys came out firing in the second half. We knew that the All Blacks were going to come back like they did in the first half," said the captain.

"I'm just really proud that the boys came back in the second half and even scored a try against a team like the All Blacks

"The last time Tonga played the All Blacks (at Brisbane in 2003) the All Blacks scored 99 points so I'm just really proud our boys scored a try."

Coach Isitolo Maka, an ex-All Black who is also the captain's brother, lamented a nervy start by the team as the All Blacks ran in four dazzling tries in an exhibition display before the break.

"I'm happy the score is only 41 points but the way we played in the first half, I'm disappointed. We trained well all week and a few mistakes, missed tackles and you see the score. The second half was a lot better," he said.

"I believe tonight a few of our new players were a bit short as they showed in the first half. I just hope those guys will front up next Wednesday," the coach added.

The World Cup's opening has provided a boost for the impoverished Pacific kingdom, with thousands of members of the Tongan community giving an ecstatic welcome to their team in Auckland this week.

And Jonah Lomu, the All Blacks legend of Tongan descent, played a starring role in Friday's opening ceremony just minutes before kick-off.

"The support from the Tongan community is huge -- we take our hats off to them and all Tongans around the world," said the coach.

However, All Blacks coach Graham Henry was less than impressed with Tonga's grinding forward play, which subdued large parts of the Eden Park crowd on the World Cup's opening night.

"I don't think anyone enjoyed it -- it was a very boring part of the game," Henry said. "I think everybody watching would have agreed with that. The less repeats we have of that, the better."

Tonga will meet Canada in Whangarei on Wednesday before their remaining Pool A games against Japan and France.

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Fans, fun and Sevens success
The week leading up to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was a special one. The fans were passionate,...

Brendan Venter
Boks must think outside the box
Springbok supporters have every right to feel disenchanted after an underwhelming end-of-year tour.

Tony Johnson
Boks and Wallabies burnt in final outings
Playing the last test of the year in the last week of November has again proven to be a stumbling...

Gavin Rich
Boks learned quite a lot actually
When SuperSport returned from the Millennium Stadium to the studio discussion, it was mentioned...