All Blacks heavy favourites against Tonga
September 5, 2011
Former All Blacks winger Doug Howlett scored four tries against Tonga during his Test career © Getty Images
New Zealand will look to heap further woe on Tonga when they kick off the 2011 Rugby World Cup at Auckland's Eden Park on Friday night.
The All Blacks have swept their near neighbours aside on the three previous occasions the two sides have met and in doing so they have racked up an incredible 238 points and 33 tries in the process. In contrast, Tonga have never reached double figures and can boast just one try.
Their first meeting came in Bristol during the 1999 World Cup where two tries from Jonah Lomu and further scores from Byron Kelleher, Josh Kronfeld and Norm Maxwell carried the All Blacks to a 45-9 victory. The second meeting of the sides saw New Zealand rack up 102 unanswered points at North Shore City in 2000. Lock Troy Flavell led the way with three of his side's 15 tries.
The most recent clash also came on the World Cup stage during the 2003 tournament in Australia. On this occasion, the Kiwi ran in 13 tries on their way to a 91-7. win with Doug Howlett, Caleb Ralph and Mils Muliaina all grabbing a brace.
New Zealand last won the World Cup back in 1987 but reached the final against South Africa in 1995 but crashed in the semi-finals on the four other occasions. Tonga meanwhile have never made it through the group stages.
New Zealand v Tonga All-time record: Played: 3, New Zealand won 3, Tonga won 0.
Biggest winning margin: 102 - New Zealand (102-0) in North Shore City June 16, 2000.
Highest score: 102 - New Zealand (102-0) in North Shore City June 16, 2000. Most tries: NZ: 15 (102-0) in North Shore City June 16, 2000; Tonga: 1 (7-91) Brisbane, October 24, 2003.
Most points (individual): NZ: Tony Brown 32; Tonga: Josh Taumalolo 9.
Most tries (individual): NZ : 4 Doug Howlett; Tonga: 1 Pierre Hola.
Previous Rugby World Cup meetings:: Two
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton pays a visit to Oxford University Women's Rugby Football Club who have recently made headlines across the world, from Tokyo to New York
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points