22 Oct 2011

Sport: Tonga reflect on what could have been

11:30 am on 22 October 2011

Tongan rugby coach Isitolo Maka admits to a small feeling of 'what could have been' as he ponders tomorrow night's Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and France.

The 'Ikale Tahi finished third in Pool A behind the All Blacks and Les Bleus, losing the tournament opener to the hosts before upsetting the French 19-14 in Wellington.

It wasn't enough to see Tonga progress to the quarter finals but Isitolo Maka says the resulting final reinforces how well the team played.

"You know to look at that and thinking of 'oh France made the final but we beat them' it's special for us - especially for a little rugby nation like Tonga to beat a team like that it's something special. And both at the same time New Zealand and France were with us in the same pool - we gave everything against New Zealand. Even though we lost by a big margin but we're still happy with the way we perform."

And just in case you were wondering, Maka is tipping the All Blacks to lift the cup.