Prepwatch: New Zealand 56-8 Tonga

In the only match each side has before the World Cup begins next week, New Zealand beat Tonga 56-8, scoring 10 tries to Tonga’s 2. Reports indicate that Thomas Leuluai and Benji Marshall both had good games, and that Steve Matai’s shoulder came thorugh unscathed. Jerome Ropati was the pick of the scorers, leaving the field with a hat-trick.

This result bodes very well for the Kiwis, and if Marshall and Leuluai have developed a combination then that goes a long way to solving the major problem the Kiwis have had since the retirement of Stacey Jones, that of lacking midfield creativity. Conversely, it might be seen as a major blow to Tonga, who had high expections and although will still be aiming for a semi-final spot you would have to think that Samoa and Ireland will be fancying their chances now.

UPDATE: News coverage with some video of the game. Marshall seemed involved in a lot of the tries.

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2 Responses to “Prepwatch: New Zealand 56-8 Tonga”

  1. Matt Says:

    After New Zealand getting thrashed by GB in 2007, I actually think they will do pretty well in this tournament, beating Papua New Guinea and perhaps beating England as well. I see them in the Semi-Final and obviously that will be a key game for them. If they do play Australia in the SF I think they can win it, if you look at the SCS match then apart from the first 20 minutes, where the Kiwis conceded alot of points, they actually played very well and competitive for the remaining 60 minutes. This result also shows how hard it will be for the “fourth team” to compete in the SF.

  2. mike13xiii Says:

    Yes, this result does show that New Zealand are on the right track. At the moment I can honestly see any of the Tri-Nations cartel beating each other. Papua New Guinea and the other six nations do seem to have their work cut out for them…

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