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The Roar


Tonga too good for Kangaroos in massive boilover

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Roar Guru
2nd November, 2019

Australia has been stunned by the Tonga Invitational team tonight, going down 16-12 at Eden Park in New Zealand.

After Australia had wrestled back control going into half time, most thought the Kangaroos would get away in the second half.

The reality was completely different however, with the Tongan forward back outplaying Australia and the halves pairing of Tuimoala Lolohea and Kotoni Staggs overshadowing their more fancied rivals.

Second-half tries to Tevita Pangai Junior and Michael Jennings were reflective of their dominance and Tonga deserved their win tonight.

It was the first time in history that the Tongans have beaten Australia after only meeting them in a Test for the first time last year.

They are only the fifth team to defeat Australian in a rugby league Test, joining New Zealand, England, Great Britain and France.

It’s the first time in 41 years that the Kangaroos have lost to a side that wasn’t one of those first three.

A few of the Australian players shouldn’t be pulling on a Kangaroos jersey for a long time.

Latrell Mitchell’s kick at the ball in the last 10 minutes was a soft play, while both Cam Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans had really poor games.


The Australian pack was also underwhelming, with the starting props in David Klemmer and Josh Papalii outshone by the bench.

Big issues for Mal Meninga to solve going forward but, simply, Tonga wanted it more tonight.

Rather than being disappointed by an insipid Australian performance, we should be celebrating a great night for international rugby league.

Tonga are no longer a Tier 2 nation – they have just beaten the world’s best.

Australia 12
Tonga 16