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 Sports Media Ltd.
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports