Tonga beat Samoa 30-26 in Nuku’alofa

AP, WELLINGTON

Sun, Jul 02, 2017 - Page 10

Tonga beat Samoa 30-26 yesterday in a Pacific Nations Cup Test, their first Test in eight years in the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa.

In front of a crowd of 10,000 at Teufaiva Stadium, Tonga built a 20-16 lead by halftime then held out Samoa in the second half with a try, a conversion and a penalty to England-based scrumhalf Sonatane Takulua.

Tonga led 30-19 before a try to Alapati Leiua, converted by Tusi Pisi, brought Samoa within four points, but the home side hung on to join Samoa on five points on the Pacific Nations Cup table, behind leaders Fiji with eight points.

Tonga are to face Fiji in Suva this weekend while Samoa are to host Fiji in Apia a week later.

The top-placed team at the end of the tournament are to join Australia, Georgia and Wales in Pool D at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, while the second-placed team qualify in the same pool as England, France and Argentina.

The third team are to compete with a European qualifier for a place in Pool A with hosts Japan, Scotland and Ireland.

In Super Rugby, the Bulls beat the Sharks 30-17 on Friday following a month-long break for internationals, while the Southern Kings edged the Jaguares 31-30 in Buenos Aires.