29 Sep 2015

'The dream is still alive' for Tonga

10:23 am on 29 September 2015

Tonga has not given up hope of making the Rugby World Cup playoffs.

The 'Ikale Tahi were stunned by Georgia in their 2015 Rugby World Cup opener.

The 'Ikale Tahi were stunned by Georgia in their 2015 Rugby World Cup opener. Photo: AFP

The 'Ikale Tahi were stunned by Georgia in their opening match of the tournament 10 days ago, and face a must-win clash with Namibia in Exeter tomorrow morning.

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai.

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai. Photo: AFP

Head coach Mana Otai said they had enough ball to beat the Georgians but did not capitalise on their opportunities, and were perhaps guilty of complacency.

The former test number eight, who represented Tonga at the 1995 World Cup, was an interested observer during Namibia's impressive showing against the All Blacks last week.

He said the African team would fancy Tonga as its best chance of an upset.

"We have seen a few of their pre-season games and some of the games pre World Cup but I wouldn't read too much into that. We've got to prepare ourselves better and approach the game with focus and to play well".

The 'Ikale Tahi need a big win to keep their quarter final hopes alive, and Mana Otai said the squad remained optimistic.

"The dream is still alive. I mean we've lost one game. This has happened in the past - teams have dropped one game in the pool games.

"I think anything is possible, as I said. Japan has inspired us that if you turn up, do your homework and apply yourself, like they did against South Africa, it's possible but we've got to look after Namibia first and then look at Argentina and the All Blacks afterwards, but it is possible".