Following Tonga’s 38-22 win over Samoa in the Pacific Test on Saturday night at Campbelltown Stadium, legendary rugby league star Andrew Johns believes the Mate Ma’a could take it up to the Kangaroos.
Tonga, who were led by NRL stars Jason Taumalolo and Will Hopoate, came out of the blocks firing, scoring six first half tries to hold a 30-6 lead at half time.
They held off Samoa in the second half before recording the victory, as Tonga had seven different try scorers on the night.
After the game, Johns was speaking about Tonga on the Nine Network‘s coverage of the match, and can’t wait to see Tonga test themselves against the world’s best.
“I’d love to see this team play Australia at the end of the year,” Johns proclaimed.
“On what I’m seeing tonight, definitely (they’d challenge the Kangaroos), without a shadow of a doubt.”
Tonga coach Kristian Woolf spoke about the possibility on Saturday night, and is trying to work alongside Kangaroos boss Mal Meninga to make the fixture happen.
“There’s been a lot of talk about a game at the end of the year against Australia and that’s something we are really pushing as hard as we can to make happen,” Woolf said post-game.
“I’ve got to give Mal Meninga a wrap. Every time I’ve spoken to him and the first conversation to get the ball rolling there was with Mal.
“He jumped at it straight away and it’s certainly something that he’s right behind and wants to make happen.
“I think we can match anyone when we’re playing that way and we’ve been quite vociferous in that we want to get some opportunity to play tier one nations.
“We certainly implore the NRL and the International rugby league to make that happen.”