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Monday, November 4, 2019

Rugby : Tonga beat Australia for first time

Australia suffered their first defeat to Tonga as the Pacific nation upset them 16-12 in Auckland.

The Kangaroos had not lost to a team other than New Zealand, Great Britain or England since 1978.
It was the first ever defeat for Australia against a tier-two country, while Tonga completed a remarkable hat-trick.
Having beaten the Kiwis in the 2017 World Cup and overcome Great Britain last week, they made it three consecutive wins against tier-one sides.
Australia, fresh from a win over New Zealand in Wollongong, held a 12-6 lead at half-time.
But Tonga roared back with tries from Michael Jennings and Tevita Pangai to hit the front with 26 minutes to go and kept the Kangaroos out with punishing defence at Eden Park.
After a bulldozing run from Jason Taumalolo, Will Hopoate caught Australia napping around the ruck to sneak over from dummy-half under the posts on 21 minutes, with Kotoni Staggs adding the extras.
Tonga had dominated up to that point and winger David Fusitu'a was denied the opening try due to a forward pass.
The Kangaroos gained the lead with two tries in the space of four minutes, soon after Hopoate went over.
Broncos forward Payne Haas created the first with his change of angle to give Jack Wighton the chance to slice back near the posts.
Paul Vaughan then scored, with Latrell Mitchel converting both to give them a 12-6 advantage going into the break.
Tonga responded with two tries of their own, eight minutes apart, at the start of the second half.
After Staggs was held up over the line, Michael Jennings scored off a sweeping move to the left.
Tevita Pangai Jr crashed over from close range to give his side the lead with 25 minutes to go, with Staggs kicking his second conversion.

Despite several frantic Australia runs at the Tongan line in the final 10 minutes, they could not break through.