Tonga will look to finish at the top of Group D at the Rugby League World Cup when they take on the Cook Islands in their final group stage game.

Zero Tackle will cover the game between the two pacific island nations live from 1:30am (AEDT).

Tonga have won two from two so far, but with a loss by 22 points or more, could still miss out on the knockout stages of the tournament if Papua New Guinea were also to beat Wales tomorrow.

The Cook Islands are in a must-win situation if they are going to qualify for the finals, with a win by 22 or more guaranteeing their spot, while a win by less would leave them needing either the Kumuls to lose, or have a small win.

Refresh the page below for live scores and commentary updates from 1:30am (AEDT).


Match time Fulltime
Tonga vs Cook Islands




16 Tries 2
14 Conversions 1
0 Penalty goals 0
0 Field goals 0

Match summary

Tonga 92 (Tries: Daniel Tupou [2], Jason Taumalolo [2], Tesi Niu [3], Will Penisini [4], Tuimoala Lolohea [2], Felise Kaufusi, Isaiya Katoa; Conversions: Isaiya Katoa 14/16 defeat Cook Islands 10 (Try: Steven Marsters, Tinirau Arona; Conversion: Steven Marsters 0/1, Tinirau Arona 1/1)


3:18am (AEDT)
Well, one-way traffic that, and Tonga are through to the quarter-finals with a perfect group record. It also now likely means Papua New Guinea will go through in second, unless they suffer a blowout loss to Wales tomorrow.

Tonga meanwhile book their quarter-final with Samoa on the back of an emphatic statement.

Hopefully you enjoyed this one, and be sure to stick around for Samoa and France, which will be live on the site shortly.

3:16am (AEDT)
And a late try for the Cook Islands. Brad Takairangi takes an intercept, then hands off to Tinirau Arona who scores with his final touch of the ball in his final game.

He stands up to convert as well.
3:13am (AEDT)
And another. This time it's Talatau Amone who runs through to score off an excellent ball at the line to Felise Kaufusi who sets up Amone in support. Addin Fonua-Blake with the lovely ball to Kaufusi to send him through.

Katoa converts once more.

3:11am (AEDT)
The runaway continues, with Will Penisini going in for his fourth try. Great work from Amone to set it up, but Penisini runs rings around the defenders to score again.

Katoa converts.

3:04am (AEDT)
Marsters can't convert from the sideline.

3:02am (AEDT)
The Cook Islands with a chance here - their first in a long time. They win a penalty as well, then there is a long shift to the right-hand side where Steven Marsters finds enough space to get into the in goal, but did he score before going touch in goal?

Ashley Klein sends it upstairs, and Robert Hicks sends it back with the green lights.

The Kukis have some points.
2:59am (AEDT)
Katoa converts again, and Tonga bring up 80 with 15 to go.

2:58am (AEDT)
Tonga are in again! The weight of possession and territory tells again, with a shift to the left this time. Daniel Tupou with a bit of footwork and he slips through with barely a hand laid on him to score.

2:56am (AEDT)
It's going from bad to worse for the Kukis. They knock on trying to field a grubber kick at the end of a Tongan set here, and Mate Ma'a will have another full set from ten metres out.

2:53am (AEDT)
Will Penisini over this time, but he has virtually come from nowhere in support there to steal a try off Ben Murdoch-Masila.

The lead-up to that was quite something. A shocking pass along the ground saw the break made by Tuimoala Lolohea. He threw it back inside and Penisini scores.

Katoa has no trouble converting this time.

2:51am (AEDT)
Katoa can't convert from out wide.

2:49am (AEDT)
Well, Tonga were almost stopped in their tracks here. Amone set up an excellent break for Daniel Tupou, who linked back with Amone. He can't outrun Piakura, but off the play the ball, it's Lolohea diving over for his second try of the game in the corner of the park.

2:47am (AEDT)
Talatau Amone now onto the park for Tonga.

Speaking of Tonga, they get denied a try here by a call of knock on.

2:45am (AEDT)
The air just starting to go out of this contest now. Seems as if the intensity has really dropped in the last few minutes for Tonga.

2:41am (AEDT)
Katoa converts again and he has ten goals on the board.

2:39am (AEDT)
This is a car crash for the Cook Islands. Tonga just burst through the line again, and this time it's Tesi Niu who will capitalise for his third try on the back of a break. Moses Suli was the one with the break on the left-hand side, before throwing a great pass.

2:36am (AEDT)
So then, Tonga will have the first real attacking chance of the second half. David Fifita with what felt like a hundred broken tackles, but they can't score there. The last will eventually come inside the ten, and a shift to the right will see a try for Isaiya Katoa. A shocking pass to the right hand side, but Sione Katoa did a good job under pressure, and Will Pensini back on the inside throws the final pass for the try.

Isaiya Katoa converts his own effort.

2:32am (AEDT)
We are back underway then in Middlesbrough. The Cook Islands with first use of it and they will get to a kick from halfway, with Ford firing it down town to Sione Katoa who is looking to be expansive straight away, but eventually drops it inside to Suli who is tackled.

2:30am (AEDT)
Teams are back for the second half here. Tonga to kick-off.

2:17am (AEDT)
Isaiya Katoa hits another one. 52-0 at the break and there isn't much to be said here. The Cook Islands simply haven't gone even close to rocking up today.

Be sure to stick around, and we will be back soon with the second half.

2:16am (AEDT)
Right then, the Cook Islands turn it over just past halfway, and it'll be Tonga with a last attacking raid to end the half, winning a penalty inside the final minute too.

And they are going to score off the back of that. Felise Kaufusi just chops the defence to bits with some footwork to take Tonga over the half-century on the stroke of halftime. This is quite embarrassing for the Cook Islands.

2:14am (AEDT)
The Cook Islands finally manage to get through a set in defence, with a deflected kick ending up in their grasp. They also manage to get a penalty to come out of their own end.

2:12am (AEDT)
Katoa converts again as the rain starts to fall.

2:11am (AEDT)
Tonga finally not all the way on the attack at the end of a set, but that isn't going to stop them from scoring. Lolohea kicks shallowly down the sideline from 30 out, the ball is allowed to land in Katoa's lap, he throws it back inside, Lolohea toes it ahead and then chases it down to score.

This is one-way traffic. Tonga on for a huge score here.

2:08am (AEDT)
Tonga! This is just too good. Fast moving and out to the right-hand side. Penisini in space, then Kaota goes for a run down the wing. He offloads back from the cover defence to Penisini who seems to be taken out off the ball before managing to get a hand to it, but knocking on.

Up to the bunker with the call of penalty try on field. That's going to be upheld. Tonga continue to extend their lead.

Isaiya Katoa converts from right in front and this is a car crash from the Kukis. Five tries in 12 minutes as David Fifita and the remaining bench forwards come onto the park.

2:05am (AEDT)
Isaiya Katoa converts again. He has five from six.

2:03am (AEDT)
Tonga just pouring away with this now, but that was absolutely beautiful football. Huge set after points develops, then a shift to the left-hand side sees Isaiya Katoa put Moses Suli through. The Dragons' centre grubbers through, and Tesi Niu is there in support to score again.

2:02am (AEDT)
Katoa converts from out wide.

2:01am (AEDT)
Tonga off to the races here, with the Cook Islands tournament going up in smoke. Another penalty allows Mate Ma'a back onto the attack, then a shift to the right finds some space. A grubber goes through from Soni Luke, and Will Penisini is the beneficiary this time as he dots down for a try.

1:57am (AEDT)
This is getting a little bit ugly now. Tonga in again in the set after points here. Straight out to the left-hand side, with Felise Kaufusi just showing it, putting on some footwork and bursting through the line. He links up with Tesi Niu and the fullback scores.

Isaiya Katoa converts. 22-0 after 23 minutes.

1:55am (AEDT)
Katoa converts again.

1:54am (AEDT)
Tonga with a penalty to get out of their own end, and Mate Ma'a back on the attack here in this set. Not a lot happening early, but then Taumalolo has gone over for a double. That was a horrendous pass from Koloamatangi that sat up off the bounce for Taumalolo. The defence stopped still and the North Queensland lock goes over again.

1:51am (AEDT)
The Cook Islands making the most of this set restart as they come onto the attack here. Inside 20 with a pair of plays to go and Peyroux was almost through, but dragged down. Now they come left on the last, Iro ends up with it, grubbers, and Tesi Niu has it a few metres out from his own line.

1:50am (AEDT)
Tonga's forwards going on an absolute rip here. Great set after points, but let down by the kick from Tuimoala Lolohea who puts a kick out on the first bounce. Not a bad spot to turn it over though.

In direct contrast to Tonga, the Kukis going absolutely nowhere here. Only a pair of involvements from Ulberg get them going, then they win a set restart.

1:48am (AEDT)
Katoa kicks the conversion easily here from just next to the sticks.

1:47am (AEDT)
Tonga get their first penalty of the game now and will go up the other end. Fonua-Blake goes barnstorming inside 20 on the second play, so a big chance coming up here. And it's going to be Jason Taumalolo. Absolute raw power. What a way to come back from suspension. Just wound up and barged a couple of defenders out of the way to crash over.

1:45am (AEDT)
Tonga have dominated the opening to this game, ut only have a single try to show for it, so the Kukis still well in the game here. Teroi had almost broke through on the fourth there, with the Kukis then spreading it right on the last, but Daniela is tackled well. Last play, grubber kick from Ford but Koloamatangi gives on it.

1:44am (AEDT)
Isaiya Katoa looking excellent out on this left edge early on here. Creates space again, but the final pass from Tesi Niu to Daniel Tupou is put down with space on the wing.

1:42am (AEDT)
Tonga were wasting no time getting back to the other end after that error, but then it's Paul Ulberg who runs onto a loose football to streak away and score against the run of play.

Needs another look though as to how Ulberg came up with the ball, and Ashley Klein sends it upstairs with an on-field call of no try. Robert Hicks is the video referee.

Koloamatangi was the man who lost it, but the defender is ruled to have played at the ball in the tackle to lodge it loose. Ulberg in an offside position as well, so it will be Tonga's ball.

1:40am (AEDT)
Tonga ruin another good set with the ball then by giving the Cook Islands another piggyback penalty out of their own end. The Cook Islands onto the attack, and Takairangi kicks from 15 out on the last. Shallow, batted back, pinballed on the ground and eventually there is a knock on.

Very poor end to that set.

1:37am (AEDT)
Kayal Iro brings the Cook Islands back over halfway on the first play and the Kukis will look to get into the game here. Decent set, and Tesi Niu is pinned in his own ten-metre zone after a good grubber from Ford.

1:36am (AEDT)
An excellent set after points from Tonga there. Forwards just rolling up the field, but then after the kick they give away a penalty and the Cook Islands can piggyback out of their own end.

1:34am (AEDT)
Isaiya Katoa fails to convert.

1:33am (AEDT)
Referee Ashley Klein blows his whistle, and the Cook Islands kick us off to get this Group D clash underway.

And this has taken no time at all! Isaiya Katoa! The young gun has been a star this tournament, and he shows and goes to the left here, makes a break and then puts Daniel Tupou over in the corner.

1:30am (AEDT)
The anthems beautiful, and the cultural pre-game just excellent. Goosebumps.

Can the Cook Islands upset Mate Ma'a? We are about to find out. Teams are ready, so here we go!

1:22am (AEDT)
The teams have made their way onto the ground here in Middlesbrough. Big game ahead.

Time for the anthems!

1:00am (AEDT)
Here are the final teams for this game then.

22. Tesi Niu 2. Daniel Tupou 4. Viliami Penisini 19. Moses Suli 5. Sione Katoa 24. Isaiya Katoa 7. Tuimoala Lolohea 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 14. Soni Luke 17. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Keaon Koloamatangi 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 6. Talatau Amone 16. Tevita Tatola 18. David Fifita 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila
18th man: 23. Konrad Hurrell

Cook Islands
1. Kayal Iro 2. Paul Ulberg 4. Esan Marsters 22. Geoff Daniela 5. Steven Marsters 6. Brad Takairangi 7. Jonathon Ford 8. Makahesi Makatoa 9. Aaron Teroi 10. Tepai Moeroa 11. Dominique Peyroux 12. Brendan Piakura 13. Zane Tetevano
Interchange: 14. Tevin Arona 15. Tinirau Arona 20. Davvy Moale 24. Dylan Napa
18th man: 19. Pride Petterson-Robati

12:45am (AEDT)
Hello and welcome to Zero Tackle for our live coverage of the 2022 Rugby League World Cup in England.

A crucial game this one between two rugby league-mad nations, with Tonga and the Cook Islands both chasing victories for their own reasons.

Teams are out, so we will have them for you soon.