2021 RLWC Round 2, Tonga 32 Wales 6 – Report

Andrew Pelechaty reviews Tonga’s comfortable win against Wales to seal a quarter final spot…


Tonga 32
Tries: Daniel Tupou 3 (20, 58, 70), David Fifita (36), Keaon Koloamatangi (39), Tesi Niu (46)
Goals: Tuimoala Lolohea 3 (37, 39, 48), Siosifa Talakai 1 (72)

Wales 6
Tries: Kyle Evans (15)
Goals: Matty Fozard 1 (17)


Embed from Getty Images

Tonga have sealed a quarter finals spot with a comfortable win at Totally Wicked Stadium (St Helens).

Wales built on their encouraging performance against the Cook Islands, leading 6-0 after 15 minutes through Kyle Evans, who ran 40 metres to score after his tackle forced a Tongan error.

While Daniel Tupou’s first try (of three) got Tonga back in it, Wales kept their 6-4 lead for the next 16 minutes.

The game turned from the 36th minute with powerful short-range tries to David Fifita and Keaon Koloamatangi. Wales’ brave resistance was broken as Tonga took a 16-6 half-time lead.

That four-minute period showed the difference in class between a ’minnow’ side like Wales and a Tongan side that can match it with the Big Three (Australian, New Zealand, England).

Tesi Niu (dummying and dancing from 10 metres out) extended Tonga’s lead early in the second half, while Tupou completed his hat-trick to put Wales away. A spectacular try to Tuimoala Lolohea was denied when the ball narrowly touched the sideline before it was flicked back infield.

Tonga will use next week’s final group game against the Cook Islands as a tune up for the quarter finals (possibly playing Samoa, which is sure to be a blockbuster).

As for Wales, they’ve already improved on their poor 2017 Rugby League World Cup (where they lost all three games by a combined 156-18). Can they maintain their competitiveness against Papua New Guinea?

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