In what was the most entertaining of the three Pacific Tests, Fiji and Tonga threw everything at each other in a heated and passionate 80 minutes that went right to the death.
Eighty Minutes of Pure Passion
It was an awesome sight at Campbelltown yesterday seeing so many passionate fans at the game. Having attended intense finals games, Grand Finals and other big games, I can gladly say that last night’s triple header had one of the best atmospheres at a sporting event I’ve ever attended.
It was particularly true for this match however, as throughout the entire 80 minutes there was cheering, banter and applause. It was great to see both sets of fans show so much passion in a game that had nothing on the line, and their input transitioned onto the field with the game going down to the wire.
Village Kicks Down The Opposition Defence
In just his second appearance for the Fiji Bati, young Panther Viliame Kikau tore up the opposition, threatening the line on multiple occasions and crossing over for a try and setting up one too.
His powerful runs and strong defence were apparent throughout the match, and his spot on the edges won’t be uprooted any time soon.
Tui’s Playmaking Troubles
Despite the win, it was a tough night for Tonga five-eighth Tui Lolohea, who struggled at times during the match.
It wasn’t his first time playing pivot but it was clear to see the added responsibility was a damper on his game, and it raises yet another question as to where he is best utilised.
At multiple times of the match Lolohea chose the wrong option and it hurt his side, however it is a great learning curve for the Warriors’ youngster.
Latu the match winner for Tonga
Fan favourite Leilani Latu was instrumental for his side with two four pointers, including the match winner.
The underrated front rower was a threat every time he was around the ball, and his passionate display epitomised the reason we love rugby league.
Being able to represent Italy as well, his inclusion in the Tongan side for the World Cup is a huge boost for the developing nation.