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.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September