2011 Pacific Rugby Cup - Junior Waratahs 28 v Tonga A 18
The HSBC Junior Waratahs opened the 2011 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup with a strong 28-18 win over a determined Tonga A side at Forshaw Rugby Park on Saturday.
The Junior Tahs were held scoreless in the first half, having to withstand some of Tonga's patented big hits, and two penalties from No.10, Daniel Morath. However in the second half four consecutive converted tries ensured the home team victory.
Tonga A started forcefully, using their large forwards to set up numerous attacks, but were denied a first half try by the home side’s stout, and sometimes desperate, defence. Lock Pat O'Connor's desperation saw him sin-binned in the 28th minute for repeated infringements at the breakdown, yet Tonga were not able to capitalise fully on the subsequent advantage, going to the break with only a six-point lead.
Unlike their opponents, the HSBC Junior Waratahs took full advantage of the sin-binning of Tonga's prop, Ofa Fainga'anuku, in the last minutes before half time. NSW went ahead within five minutes of the re-start, courtesy of a deceptive run from flanker, Maile Latukefu, resulting in the first of his two converted tries.
Constant pressure from NSW saw more points come their way, with winger John Grant and centre Bernard Foley also crossing for five-pointers soon after. Latukefu's second try in the 73rd minute, converted by centre Bernard Foley, took the lead out to 22-points.
Tonga A weren't finished though. Flanker Paula Kaho barged over three minutes from the end, with the conversion coming from replacement, Edmond Pea. And on the bell, Pea scored an unconverted try to finalise the score at 28-18.
Both teams must now quickly prepare for their next Pacific Rugby Cup clashes on Wednesday 23 February. The HSBC Junior Waratahs take on Fiji A at St Mary's Stadium at 5:30pm while Tonga A travel to Canberra to meet the Brumby Runners at Viking Park at 6:30pm.
HSBC Junior Waratahs 28 (Maile Latukefu 2, John Grant, Bernard Foley tries; Rohan Saifoloi 2 cons, Afa Pakalani con, Bernard Foley con) d Tonga A 18 (Paula Kaho, Edmond Pea tries; Daniel Morath 2 pens; Edmond Pea con) at Forshaw Rugby Park, Sydney. Half-time: Tonga A 6-0. Yellow Cards: Pat O'Connor (HSBC Junior Waratahs), repeated infringements, 28th minute; Ofa Fainga'anuka (Tonga A), repeated infringements, 40th minute. Referee: Nathan Pearce. Crowd: 300.
By the clock
13th - Daniel Morath penalty. Tonga A 3-0
28th - Yellow Card: Pat O'Connor, repeated infringements at breakdown
29th - Daniel Morath penalty. Tonga A 6-0
40th - Yellow Card: Ofa Fainga'anuka, repeated infringements in scrum
45th - Maile Latukefu try; Rohan Saifoloi conversion. HSBC Junior Waratahs 7-6
55th - John Grant try; Rohan Saifoloi conversion. HSBC Junior Waratahs 14-6
65th - Bernard Foley try; Afa Pakalani conversion. HSBC Junior Waratahs 21-6
73rd - Maile Latukefu try; Bernard Foley conversion. HSBC Junior Waratahs 28-6
77th - Paula Kaho try; Edmond Pea conversion. HSBC Junior Waratahs 28-13
79th - Edmond Pea try; Edmond Pea missed conversion. HSBC Junior Waratahs 28-18