Tonga looking for a semi-final place after beating New Zealand
Tonga produced the comeback of the Rugby League World Cup last week. Down 16-2 at half-time, they surged to a 28-22 victory over the highly fancied Kiwis. They now play Lebanon in the Quarter-finals on Saturday.
Tonga is one of just 3 undefeated teams in the World Cup and they have looked impressive. They thrashed Scotland in the first week, 50-4 with Michael Jennings scoring a hat-trick. Next match was a tricky encounter against rivals Samoa, a team they hadn’t beaten in a while. But they managed to score 32 points and defeat them by 14. Then as mentioned, they upset New Zealand in the last round to step themselves for a chance at the final.
Tonga defeated Scotland 50-4
Tonga defeated Samoa 32-18
Tonga defeated New Zealand 28-22
Lebanon kicked off the World Cup with a great win over France. They were gallant against England, scoring 10 points against one of the favourites for the final. In the last game, Australia easily defeated them 34-0.
Lebanon defeated France 29-18
Lebanon lost to England 29-10
Lebanon lost to Australia 34-0
With a dominant forward pack led by Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita, Tonga is one of the teams to watch in this tournament. They also have outside speed in Jennings and Tupou. So for Lebanon to win this match, Tim Mannah and his forward pack have to find a way to stop Tonga in the middle of the field. That will give more time and space for the halves combination of Moses and Farah. But as we saw against Australia and England, Lebanon has struggled for points in their last 2 matches. Tonga will have a strong “home” crowd in New Zealand and they’ll be fired up after beating New Zealand. So I’m backing Tonga to win and cover the line.