‘IKale Tahi readies for Fiji Test after Samoa win
SUVA, Fiji – June 19, 2018: 12.50pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The ‘Ikale Tahi will have a fight on their hand when they meet the Flying Fijians in Lautoka this weekend in a one-off Test.
The ‘Ikale Tahi scored three tries to defeat Manu Samoa 28 – 18 in Suva last week, following a close 16-15 loss to Georgia a week earlier in the Pacific Nations Cup series.
Despite conceding numerous penalties throughout the game last Saturday, the ‘Ikale Tahi dominated possession and territory. Star halfback Sona Takulua converted all of Tonga’s penalties and missed only one conversion.
The ‘Ikale Tahi led 28 – 6 in the 60th minute but poor discipline in the final quarter of the game prevented the ‘Ikale Tahi from expanding their score line. Samoa scored two late consolation tries towards the end of the game.
The referee lost patience with persistent infringements from Tonga and yellow carded prop forward Sakalia in the 67th minute. In fulltime, the referee sent-off two more players hooker Paul Ngauamo and flanker Sitiveni Mafi.
‘Ikale Tahi winger Penikolo Latu scored perhaps the try of the tournament after he made a thumping tackle on the Samoan fullback, stole the ball and outran Samoan defenders to the tryline.
Tonga lead Samoa 17 – 6 at halftime thanks to tries scored by wingers Viliami Lolohea (6th minute) and Cooper Vuna (18th minute).
Their focus will now move to beating Fiji, who won both Test matches at the PNC – beating both Samoa and Georgia.
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