Sceptics and boycotters will have to think again after Tonga’s 14-6 defeat of the British Lions tonight.
Tonga scored first and reached half time with a 12 point lead.
However, it was a nail biting finish as the British Lions finally woke up and began scoring as the game came to an end.
In the second half the British side coming back as hard as they could to score six points.
Despite winning an extra two points, Tonga did not play entirely as well in the second half as in the first, with commentators noticing some missed opportunities before they found their form again.
At times it seemed the score might have been closer than it was, with the British being turned back only three metres from the Tongan line in the 76th minute.
The British kept hammering away until the end, but in the last minutes of the game Tonga intercepted and grounded the ball as the British kicked it in.
Michael Jennings scored Tonga’s first try and set up the second after the half-time.
Siosiua Taukeiaho’s converted from the sideline to give the 12-0 lead at half time.
He added two more points with a penalty conversion in the second half.
Ahead of tonight’s game, Jason Taumalolo had been confident his team would win, despite the upheavals surrounding the team.
As Kaniva news reported earlier today, public support for the team was down on previous games, with some people calling for the Invitational XIII to be boycotted because they weren’t the Mate Ma’a Tonga or even a ‘real’ Tongan team.
Tonight’s performance in a hard, tight fought game should put those claims to rest once and for all.
Tonga will face off against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland on November 2.
The main points
- Sceptics and boycotters will have to think again after Tonga’s 14-6 defeat of the British Lions tonight.
- Tonga struck early and hard and ended the first half with a 12 point lead.
For more information
Tonga Invitational v Great Britain: Lions to make history
Tonga International XIII vs Great Britain Rugby League Lions
Jason Taumalolo confident Tonga can beat dramas