A three-try burst in six minutes raced Tonga away from the United States in a 40-12 rugby win at Kingsholm today.
Tonga conceded an early try to the Eagles before edging ahead 14-12 by halftime. It was still that score when Tonga erupted with three quick tries, to No. 8 Viliami Ma’afu, fullback Vunga Lilo, and winger David Halaifonua. Kurt Morath converted two and Tonga suddenly led 33-12.
The Tongans with a late converted try, their fifth, to captain Nili Latu won a second successive test for the first time in 18 months.
Until they beat Georgia 23-9 in Tbilisi last week, the Tongans had not win their previous six tests.
The United States started and finished the first half with tries to wing Tim Stanfill and flanker John Quill, in his first appearance this year, and managed to limit Tonga to three points while captain and flanker Scott LaValla was in the sin-bin.
The Eagles, coming off a win over Romania, finish their European tour against Fiji in France next Friday, while Tonga meets Scotland in a week.
Tonga 40 (Fetu’u Vainikolo, Viliami Ma’afu, Vunga Lilo, David Halaifonua, Nili Latu tries; Kurt Morath conversion, 3 penalties, Latiume Fosita conversion), United States 12 (Tim Stanfill, John Quill tries; Folau Niua conversion). HT: 14-12