Tonga RLWC2017

 

By Rich Cowley, Date: 7/11/17 (Photo Credit NRLPhotos)

Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand

TV Kick-off time: Saturday 11th November 2017, 5pm NZDT

If you thought the Samoa v Tonga game was a highlight of the World Cup then you are going to love seeing Tonga take on New Zealand this Saturday evening in Hamilton.

This is the battle everyone has been waiting for. With the defection of Jason Taumalolo to the Tongan camp this match will have a little bit of extra spice when the teams run out on Saturday.

With Jason not so long ago a Kiwi he will have to face the New Zealand team during the war dance. This is going to make the pre-game entertainment all the more interesting.  

Will this match be the coming of age of Mate Ma’a Tonga? Could rugby league fans finally witness the beginning of the end of the international rugby league domination by England, Australia and New Zealand?

Along with PNG and Fiji, Tonga have looked really good. In their Pool matches against Scotland and Samoa, Tonga  proved they can get the job done under all circumstances. The Tongan’s do look to be building towards something special.

The Kiwis also look like World Cup final material. They ran over Samoa in the 2nd half of their first World Cup match and set records by demolishing Scotland last week. The Kiwis have been on a try scoring frenzy.

The match against Tonga is going to be a tough test for the Kiwis. With class players like Tuivasa-Sheck and Johnson in their ranks this game could be the defining moment in the Kiwis Rugby League World Cup campaign.

This match has so much riding on it for both New Zealand and Tonga. The winner of the NZ-Tonga match will finish on top of Pool B and face the third-placed team in Pool A (more than likely Lebanon) while the loser, will finish second in Pool B and will play the winner of Pool D (more than likely Fiji).

If successful in the quarter-finals, the Pool B winner (either NZ or Tonga) will play their semi-final at Mt Smart Stadium (Saturday, 25 November) while the Pool B runner-up will play at Brisbane Stadium (24 November).

NEW ZEALAND
1 Roger TUIVASA-SHECK
2 Dallin WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
3 Dean WHARE
4 Bradley TAKAIRANGI
5 Jordan RAPANA
6 Kodi NIKORIMA
7 Shaun JOHNSON
8 Martin TAUPAU
9 Thomas LEULIAI
10 Jared WAEREA-HARGREAVES
11 Simon MANNERING
12 Joseph TAPINE
13 Adam BLAIR (c)
14 Nelson ASOFA-SOLOMONA
15 Russell PACKER
16 Isaac LIU
17 Danny LEVI

18 Kenny BROMWICH
19 Te Maire MARTIN
20 Elijah TAYLOR
21 Peta HIKU

TONGA
1 William HOPOATE
2 Daniel TUPOU
3 Michael JENNINGS
4 Konrad HURRELL
5 David FUSITU’A
6 Tuimoala LOLOHEA
7 Mafoa’aeata HINGANO
8 Andrew FIFITA
9 Sione KATOA
10 Sio Siua TAUKEIAHO
11 Manu MA’U
12 Sika MANU (c)
13 Jason TAUMALOLO
14 Siliva HAVILI
15 Sam MOA
16 Peni TEREPO
17 Ben MURDOCH-MASILA

18 Mahe FONUA
19 Manu VATUVEI
20 Ukuma TA’AI
21 Tevita PANGAI JNR

 

 

Mascord Brownz