4 Aug 2015

Sport: 'Ikale Tahi maintain winning run v Japan

11:38 am on 4 August 2015

Tonga have maintained their winning run against Japan, beating the Brave Blossoms 31-20 to finish the Pacific Nations Cup in third place.

The 'Ikale Tahi led 16-11 at halftime, despite skipper Nili Latu being sent to the sin-bin for infringing at the breakdown, and scored tries through Halani Aulika, Fetu Vainikolo and man of the match Sonatane Takalua, with Kurt Morath adding 16 points from the boot.

It was Tonga's third win in a row, and fourth in succession against Japan.

Tonga Rugby's High Performance Manager, Peter Harding, says the result was all the more satisfying as they were missing some key players.

"It was an oustanding win by our blokes against a very good Japanese side. We brought 30 guys across and we had one go home because his wife's had a baby and we've got a couple of injuries in the squad so we we're a bit skinny, so the boys on the field today were absolutely outstanding for us".

The Tongan squad now has ten days off before reassembling to head to the World Cup in the UK.

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Photo: World Rugby / Colin Watson