14 Mar 2013

Sport: Waqa expecting progress from Tonga at Hong Kong 7s

11:23 am on 14 March 2013

Tonga coach Etuate Waqa is expecting a marked improvement when his team runs out at the Hong Kong Sevens qualifier next weekend.

The Kingdom's last appearance on the world circuit was in Wellington, where they managed just one win in six games.

In Hong Kong they'll be playing in the second-tier qualifier competition, where the top four teams advance to a core-team playoff tournament in London in May.

Etuate Waqa says they need to protect the ball better when going into contact and have also spent time addressing how they approach each game.

"We've just got to lift ourselves up and be consistent with our mental approach, especially when we are playing against the bigger boys in sevens. We saw that in our game against Wales in the second half. It was a game of two halves where we had them in the first half and we just give away everything in the second half. It's a matter of consistency and focus on all the things we are doing in the 14 minutes we are in the field."

Etuate Waqa says he's also recalled some experienced heads to help the team in Hong Kong.