Tonga sign-off from World Cup with 31-19 win over USA

Telusa Veainu scored Tonga's final try in the game
Telusa Veainu scored Tonga's final try in the game

Tonga 31-19 United States, Hanazono Rugby Stadium

Tonga came up with a strong second-half performance as they signed off from the ongoing Rugby World Cup with a 31-19 win over the United States of America at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Saturday.

The win was Tonga's first in the tournament as they finished fourth with six points while USA had a disappointing tournament after losing all their four games. Tonga had the better of the opening exchanges as Siegfried Fisi'ihoi dived in the corner in the 17th minute and Tane Takulua kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

USA went on to level the scores by the start of the second quarter when Mike Te'o raced down the line breaching the defence of Tonga and dived over in the 21st minute that was improved by Aj MacGinty. USA soon went on to lead with Te'o scoring his second in the 26th minute for an unconverted try after good work from Cam Dolan as the teams finished the first half with a 7-12 scoreline.

Tonga narrowed down the gap by the 51st minute with Takula's maiden penalty goal and they seized the momentum scoring back to back tries in a span of five minutes. It was first Veainu, who sent a kick to ‘Atieli Pakalani, who in turn offloaded to Mali Hingano for his side's second try in the 58th minute and four minutes later it was Siale Piutau's turn to dot down as Tonga increased their lead to 24-12.

The final four minutes saw Tony Lamborn providing a glimmer of hope for USA with a try but Tonga had the last laugh as Veainu capitalised on a grubber kick from Latiume Fosita to touchdown in the added minutes to complete a 31-19 win.


2019 Rugby World Cup Points Table