Our Warriors fly to title
Tonga A finished third at the World Rugby Pacific Challenge after they beat Junior Japan 44-30 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva
Tonga A wasted no time in getting down to business when Atelea Moa broke through the Japanese defence to score the first try, with Patelesio One’one adding the conversion as they led 8- 0. The lead was however, shortlived when Japan replied with a try from Ryo Inoue and with Ryoto Nakamura’s conversion they drew level 8-8. Not to be outdone Tonga struck back with a try from a pick and drive move, which saw Fe’ao Hui going over with One’one on target with the conversion. Trailing 8-16, Japan dominated possession and kept the ball in the Tongan territory for quite some time. Constant pressure by Junior Japan paid dividend when Takuhei Yasuda went over for a try, which was not converted as they narrowed the deficit to 16-14. The Tongans came back as Hui pushed his way over the tryline for his second try, which was converted as they extended the lead to 24-14. This put the Japanese under a lot of pressure as they made mistakes and the Tongans were quick to capitalise on it with One’one kicking in a penalty as they led 26-14 at halftime. Yasuda kicked-off the second half by scoring his team’s third try while Nakamura added the two points as they closed to the gap to 26-22. One’one extended Tonga’s lead with his second penalty to further their lead 28-22. Japan struggled to contain the Tongan forwards as Alfred Hausia drove over to score, while One’one’s conversion bought the scores to 36-22. Basic mistakes by Japan cost them possession and substitute Sione Lolohea immediately made an impact when ran in to score a try under the post, while One’one converted to leave the scores at 44-22. Japan tried to make a comeback but only managed to get a penalty try and left the final scores at 44-30.
Junior Japan held their ground and never gave up. This resulted in them getting a penalty try at the dying moments of the game
Tonga’s Patelesio One’one had his kicking boots on and never missed any kick at goal.
COMMENTS Junior Japan captain Shokei Kin:
“We had a good start to the game but we could not keep our form especially with the big hits from the Tongans. Overall it was good experience for the boys, we really learned a lot from playing against Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.”
Tonga A captain Sione Lolohea:
“Glad to have finished third in the competition and the boys really gained a lot of experience. Shame we could not reach the finals but we have a lot to take back with us and learn from it which will improve our team.”
Tonga Atelea Moa jumps for the ball against Junior Japan during their World Rugby Pacific challenge at the ANZ
Stadium, Suva, yesterday.
Tonga’s Fe’ao Hui scores a try at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, yesterday.