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banner Saturday, 28 October, 2000, 19:20 GMT 20:20 UK
Tongans too strong for Rhinos
Tongans celebrate
Tonga made short work of South Africa's challenge
South Africa 18-66 Tonga

Four tries from Bradford Bulls star Tevita Vaikona helped Tonga past a committed but outclassed South Africa in the second match of Saturday's World Cup Group 3 double-header in Paris.

It took Vaikona just five minutes to get his name on the scoresheet at the Charlety Stadium as he scored the game's opening try, which Fifita Moala converted.

The Tongans went 12-0 up two minutes later after Moala had added the conversion to a Duane Mann try.

Tim O'Shea opened South Africa's account with a penalty, and stand off Conrad Breytenbach grabbed a 17th-minute four-pointer against the run of play to make it 12-6.

But that was to be as close as Paul Metete's men would come, and Vaikona - and Moala's boot - pushed the scoreline back out to 18-6 almost immediately.


Further first-half tries from Talite Liava'a, captain Martin Masella and Moala gave the Tongans a commanding 30-6 half-time lead.

Esau Mann got the ball rolling again four minutes into the second half, and by the time Vaikona had scored his third in the 46th minute the traffic was all one way.

Substitute Nelson Lomi romped in at the side of the posts after 51 minutes, with Moala converting once again.

Vaikona bagged his fourth three minutes later, and a change of kicker in Willie Mason brought up the 50 before Leon Barnard grabbed another try for South Africa. Halifax star Jamie Bloem converted.

Lipina Kaufusi immediately looked to have got Tonga back on track, but the Rhinos then produced their best spell of the game and picked up the contest's finest try via winger Brian Best, converted by Bloem.

It was too little too late, though, and Duane Mann and Mason emphasised Tonga's superiority with more tries to complete the rout.

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