The Tongan team is approaching this weekends test feeling confident about their chances against Scotland in Kilmarnock. After a successful series to date, with wins over both Georgia and the USA, the team has appeared to be solid, cohesive and focused unit. There have been visible improvements in the team from both tests, with strong defense helping to protect their try line and good support play on offence.
‘Ikale Tahi CEO Fuka Kitekei’aho credits the influence of Jake White on the team, indicating that being able to utilise White’s experience, and his relationship with the team and coaches has seen a real momentum increase in the side. While Tonga will go into the test this weekend as the underdog, they have been building slowly and will offer a huge challenge to the Scots this weekend.
The Scottish team will be hoping to avenge their 15 – 21 loss to Tonga in Aberdeen in 2012, which saw Fetu’u Vanikolo and Lua Lokotui triumph over a Scottish side that had already fallen twice previously in that autumn series. Both Vanikolo and Lokotui could again be influences this weekend, and Tonga is riding high on a wave of support from around the world. This coupled with a recent rise in the IRB world rugby rankings suggests Tonga is heading into not only this weekend, but also next year’s Rugby World Cup preparation in a strong position to be real contenders.
Tonga vs Scotland kicks off at 2:30pm GMT (3.30am local time) from Kilmarnock, Scotland. Coverage will be live on BBC1 and delayed on other global networks.
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