15 Aug 2014

Sport: Tonga Thunder keen for physical battle in AFL Cup

11:18 am on 15 August 2014

Tongan captain Peni Mahina says making the most of the team's physicality is their best chance of doing well at the AFL International Cup.

The Thunder were big winners in their opening match against India but were outclassed by South Africa in midweek.

They take on a Japanese side on Saturday who also have a win and a loss and Peni Mahina says they plan to muscle up to the Samurai.

"The strength of the Tongan team is if the ball goes down we all go to the ball because we're strong when we go to the ground, and just be strong in the contest. I just know that they will be skillful and fast and quick to the ball but I hope we do our best just to shut them down".

Tonga finished ninth of 18 teams at the last International Cup and Mahina says they're hopeful of coming seventh or eighth this time around.