AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 20: Sio Siua Taukeiaho of Tonga runs the ball during the International Test match between Tonga and Australia at Mount Smart Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
  1. Will Hopoate (Fullback) 
    Wasn’t bad with ball in hand, recording over 130 run metres and a try assist, but let his teammates down severely when it came to his work in defence – which ultimately lead to a couple of tries to the Australians: 5.5/10 
  2. Daniel Tupou (Wing) 
    Received limited opportunities, and didn’t seem to want to go looking for work, but when he did he made a real fist of it. Scored a great try in the corner under pressure: 5.5/10 
  3. Michael Jennings (Centre) 
    Jennings has been done for a couple of seasons now and this game was just another nail in the coffin for the ageing outside back. Error after error – whether it was a handling error, poor pass or poor defensive read – Jennings gifted the Aussies with far too many opportunities throughout the contest: 3/10 
  4. Solomone Kata (Centre) 
    Scored a try and carried the ball well. One of Tonga’s best outside backs in what was an underwhelming performance: 6.5/10 
  5. David Fusitu’a (Wing) 
    Outstanding under the highball and went looking for work with 13 carries for 140 metres. Two handling errors put a downer on what would have been a great solo performance: 6.5/10 
  6. Tuimoala Lolohea (Five-Eighth) 
    One of the most rocks and diamonds player in the league actually put in quite a strong performance here. Had a hand in two tries, forced two dropouts and his running game was as strong as ever. Tonga’s best on field: 8.5/10 
  7. Ata Hingano (Halfback) 
    Set up Tonga’s first try after bravely playing through a shoulder injury he suffered in the opening five minutes of the contest. Was finally taken off halfway through the first half: 4/10 
  8. Andrew Fifita (Prop) 
    One player who needs an attitude adjustment before the 2019 NRL season begins. Had no impact here, in a game where his country needed it the most. Coughed up possession on a number of occasions and also hindered his side by conceding a number of penalties: 4.5/10 
  9. Siliva Havili (Hooker) 
    His poor passing game was evident throughout the night with one forced passed leading to an Australian try. His game was also affected by a number of handling errors: 4/10 
  10. Siosiua Taukeiaho (Prop) 
    The premiership winner was Tonga’s best forward on the park. Defended well and provided the Australians with nightmares for the weeks to come after a dominating running display which saw him acquire a notch over 200 metres for the night: 8.5/10 
  11. Tevita Pangai Junior (Second Row) 
    Scored Tonga’s first try and had a hand in their second after an impressive offload. Gave away a few penalties however, with one leading to an 8-point try: 7.5/10 
  12. Sika Manu (Second Row) 
    Was surprised to see that Sika Manu is still around and then surprisingly enough, turned out to be one of his sides better performing players against the Aussies. Recorded 40 tackles and even recorded a drop-out with a nice little kick. Solid captains knock: 7.5/10 
  13. Jason Taumalolo (Lock) 
    Once again, his devastating running game was on display, leaving the Australians laying in his wake. Had a good battle with Australian lock Josh McGuire throughout the contest and didn’t let his side down: 8/10 

    Interchange: 

  14. Sione Katao (Interchange) 
    Was thrown into the halves after Hingano came off the field with a shoulder injury. Forced two dropkicks from as many kicks but mostly took a backseat to Lolohea: 4/10 
  15.  Addin Fonua-Blake (Interchange) 
    Fantastic impact off the bench. In just 37 minutes of game time, the versatile forward ran for a staggering 157 run metres: 7.5/10 
  16. Joe Ofahengaue (Interchange) 
    Again, strong impact off the bench. Ran for over 100 metres and come close to scoring a try: 7/10 
  17. Ben Murdoch-Masila (Interchange) 
    It makes you think, with the Tongan forwards playing (barring one or two) so well, what would the end result have been had the outside backs stood up? The bench was a great asset for the Tongan’s in this Test with each forward adding tremendous impact off it. Ben Murdoch-Masila came close to scoring twice as soon as he hit the field as he ran with intent with each carry of the football: 7/10 

    TOTAL: 105

10 COMMENTS

  1. Tonga still have a lot to learn but the potential is there for them and after a year of playing together, they’re actually in a good spot. Will take them some time to start competing with Australia, but they’re somewhat on level terms with the Kiwis and Poms. They just need to get deeper in depth especially in key positions such as the halves and fullback.

    • And that’s where I believe some 2nd tier teams have the edge over Tonga, is depth. Teams like Samoa and Fiji are blessed with a lot of depth in most positions. Just imagine if they had their players from tier 1 nations, come back and play for them, Fiji would only have RCG but Samoa’s team would blow everyone away with the amount of talent they’d have. IMO they’d be level with Tonga if not better.

      • Agreed.

        Potential Samoan Squad (My own preference)
        FB Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
        WG Ken Maumalo
        CN Tim Lafai
        CN Joseph Leilua
        WG Jamayne Isaako
        FE Jarome Luai
        HB Mason Lino
        PR Nelson Asofa-Solamona
        HK Kaysa Pritchard
        PR Marty Taupau
        SR Issac Liu
        SR Josh Papalii
        LK Josh McGuire
        B1 Tyrone May
        B2 Herman Ese’ese
        B3 Leeson Ah Mau
        B4 Isaiah Papalii

        • I’d have Milford in at 5/8, Nu Brown at hooker and Junior Paulo, Kasiano or even Sua over young papalii. Even Jazz from the warriors over May, either way they’d have a good team with a lot of depth.

      • That’s because Jennings is crap.
        Honestly I think they are generous giving him 3 out of 10.
        Doesn’t change the fact DCE was Australia’s worst and doesn’t deserve to be in the Australian squad. He should be in a 2nd tier team like Jennings.

    • And surely he scored those 3 points, by 1 point for each boot lace he tied correctly, and the other point for putting his own jersey on properly

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