Rugby League World Cup 2017: Scotland 4-50 Tonga

Kay Mellor
Sio Siua Taukeiaho kicked six goals for Tonga in the Cairns heat
Scotland (0) 4
Try: Addy
Tonga (38) 50
Tries: Jennings 3, Taumalolo, Manu, Tupou 2, Terepo, Hingano
Goals: Taukeiaho 6, Hingano

Scotland suffered a heavy loss to Tonga in their opening Group B match at the World Cup in Cairns.

Hull Kingston Rovers’ Danny Addy scored the Scots’ only try but at that point they trailed 38-0 and the Tongans went on to score two more tries.

Despite Steve McCormack’s Bravehearts being ranked fourth in the world, they were outplayed by a team featuring Andrew Fifita and Jason Taumalolo.

Scotland next play New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday.

They will complete their group matches against Samoa a week later, back at Barlow Park in Cairns.

Three of the four teams in Scotland’s group progress to the quarter-finals but the sobering result at the hands of Tonga, 11th in the rankings, threatens a longer run for McCormack’s men in their fourth consecutive World Cup finals.

Scotland’s lofty ranking, thanks to their impressive 2016 Four Nations performance, always looked out of kilter after the loss of key players to injury and against a Tonga team benefiting from defections from two powerful forwards.

Fifita was originally named in the Australia squad but withdrew to pledge his allegiance to Tonga, while Taumalolo rejected New Zealand to join Kristian Woolf’s squad.

Taumalolo scored one of his team’s seven first-half tries, with Michael Jennings, who played seven Tests for Australia, scoring a hat-trick and Sika Manu, Daniel Tupou and Peni Terepo also crossing.

Scotland defended well after the break and registered their first points just after the hour when Addy went over for Scotland’s first try of the World Cup but Tupou and Ata Hingano both crossed late on as Tonga finished strongly.

Scotland’s reward for a stronger second-half showing was a try just after an hour by Hull Kingston Rovers half-back Danny Addy

Scotland: K Bentley, Brough, Kavanagh, Russell, Ferguson, Douglas, Hellewell, Tierney, Addy, Mariano, Oakes, Bell, Stein.

Substitutes: J Walker, Phillips, Brooks, A Bentley.

Tonga: Vatuvei, Taukeiaho, Lolohea, Fifita, Tupou, Hopoate, Hurrell, Havili, Jennings, Ma’u, Taumalolo, Manu, Hingano.

Substitutes: Katoa, Terepo, Murdoch-Masila, Moa.

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