Rugby World Cup
Tonga primed for physical encounter
September 7, 2011
Finau Maka will captain Tonga in their opening clash © Getty Images
Tonga have named their side charged with attempting one of the biggest upsets the World Cup has ever seen.
Isitolo Maka's side face hosts and tournament favourites New Zealand on Friday in the World Cup opener and despite having the worst discipline in the tournament's history - with three red cards and seven yellows to their name - captain Finau Maka is adamant his side will throw everything they have at the All Blacks.
Tonga's recent disciplinary record has improved though with the All Blacks naming a physical backline instead of unleashing their flyers, coach Graham Henry is anticipating a battle of attrition. And captain Maka is adamant that no quarter will be given in their opening clash.
"We won't hold back on the physical approach, definitely," Maka said. "I think our three Pacific island teams like to play physical games so we're just going to take it to the All Blacks on Friday and see if they can stop us."
Vungakoto Lilo, Viliame Iongi, Sukanaivalu Hufanga, Andre Ma'ilei, Siale Piutau, Kurt Morath, Taniela Moa; Soane Tonga'uiha, Aleki Lutui, Taufa'ao Filise, Paino Hehea, Joseph Tuineau, Sione Kalamafoni, Finau Maka, Viliami Ma'afu
Replacements: Ephraim Taukafa, Alisona Taumalolo, Kisi Pulu, Sione Timani, Samiu Vahafolau, Samisoni Fisilau, Alipate Fatafehi
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Wayne Barnes' decision to give Dylan Hartley his marching orders was brave but crucially it was the correct call." Graham Jenkins reports from the Premiership final
"We wanted to get the rugby spirit across to people, I firmly believe we have been in the thick of it." Tom Hamilton speaks to the ESPN crew on the final live broadcast
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown