Nukualofa, 29 July 2015: Round three of the Pacific Nations kicked off today with a triple header match up at Toronto’s iconic BMO field, and ‘Ikale Tahi lead the charge in a high stakes match up against USA Eagles.
Both teams came in to the match with a one win / one loss record and were playing for all important points towards the finals series. ‘Ikale Tahi were also looking to repeat the result of last years match up against USA in Kingsholm, Gloucester.
Tonga put the pressure on early and never let up throughout the game. Two tries to winger Fetu’u Vainikolo, and a try to Telusa Veainu marking a game dominated by set pieces, and consistent kicking from Kurt Morath in the 33 – 19 victory this morning Tongan time.
Morath’s boot set up the first of Vainikolo’s tries, with an expert chip kick into Eagles territory which saw the Exeter speedster slicing through the US defence before dotting down.
The Eagles struggled with handling errors and ‘Ikale Tahi capitalized on mistakes repeatedly, further adding to the pressure from the Tongans. Morath added vital points throughout the match, only missing one of his kicking opportunities in the whole match.
‘Ikale Tahi looked to have much stronger discipline in this match, making fewer errors and seeming in much greater focus through the match. Good handling from Jack Ram saw Veainu set up for his try, while the team also exploited better field position and game sense to maintain a credible and consistent performance.
Man of the Match honours went to Vainikolo, Tonga now holds the lead spot on the Pacific Nations Cup table, with all eyes turning to the final two matches of the triple header to determine where Tonga will sit in the finals standings as we look towards Burnaby and the final round of PNC2015. Details will be updated subsequent to the last game this evening.