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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK

USA 15-25 Tonga


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By Mark Orlovac


1448: Thanks very much for your company. We have two other games for you today so stay tuned. I'll now phone my wife, she's probably fuming!

"Totally agree with silent_bob. The smaller nations need more games. Perhaps a European tournament instead of 6 nations???
Matt from Oxford, via text

80 mins: FULL-TIME: USA 15-25 Tonga
Takudzwa Ngwenya has another jinking run that leaves the Tongan defence grasping at thin air. America cannot get the try though and the final whistle blows. The Tongans were under pressure for a lot of that second-half but they managed to dig in for a victory they just about deserved.

78 mins: It's all a bit scrappy now - the heat must be having an effect - and I can see why. Dickinson has a word with lock Alec Parker after he pulls the dreadlocks of Paino Hehea in mid-air at a line-out.

"The smaller nations are really puting a good show on in this World Cup. It is down to the IRB to make sure that they all get regular competitions to help improve the standard for future World Cups!!!!
From silent_bob_uk on 606

70 mins: TRY: USA 15-25 Tonga
It's all a bit frantic now - and my wife keeps trying to call me. Doesn't she know that there is exciting World Cup action from Montpellier in progress. Unbelievable. Anyway, substitute Viliami Vaki produces a glorious run and despite the best efforts of the American defence, he somehow powers his way over the line from 25 metres out. A great score. Hola converts from underneath the posts. The killer score, surely.

67 mins: TRY: USA 15-18 Tonga
The Eagles are a permanent fixture on the Tongan line and are trying everything to punch their way over. Tonga give away a penalty, flanker Louis Stanfill takes a quick tap and blasts his way through the defence. The decision goes upstairs but this time the try is given and Hercus adds the conversion.

65 mins: America keep it tight in the forwards again and it pays dividends. Hercus makes a break but there is a lack of support and Tonga are able to bring down scrum-half Chad Erskine just a few metres from the line.

59 mins: TRY USA 8-18 Tonga
Just as I say that, Tonga skipper and flanker Nili Latu sees a gap in midfield and carves open the American defence. The ball is kept alive and winger Joseph Vaka crashes over for the try. Hola misses the conversion. That was against the run of play but it could be enough to see Tonga home.

57 mins: America are definitely are stronger side at the moment but they spurn another chance as they knock on. They might rue losing so much possession.

"My predictions of England finishing second in the group could be quite sick, South Africa will almost certainly turn us over, and both Samoa & Tonga could if we aren't careful..."
From Lester_Tiger on 606

52 mins: USA go through the phases and although it is sluggish, they creep into the Tonga half. Hercus attempts a high ball that actually goes behind him, Tonga collect and can get out of trouble.

47 mins: TRY: USA 8-13 Tonga
Tonga desperately defend as the USA camp on their line. Leeds prop Mike MacDonald just manages to touch down in the corner and America are back in this. Hercus cannot convert from the touchline.

46 mins: The USA inch their way slowly into Tonga territory. The men in red concede the penalty and instead of going for goal, America put the ball into touch. From the resulting line-out, the USA forwards drive for the line. Referee Dickinson cannot see whether the ball has been grounded and goes to the TMO - although television replays do not shed any light on the matter at all. Unsurprisingly, the try is not given and America have to start again with a five-metre scrum.

41 mins: Tonga start the second half as they began the first. Brightly. Hercus delivers a poor kick off and Tonga attack from deep.

1352: Shock in the office, and no doubt all across England, with the news that Andy Farrell will wear the number 10 jersey for the vital clash with South Africa. No pressure then.

"The USA have had a four-day turnaround from the England game, whereas this is Tonga's first. Shocking scheduling that does teams like the US no favours."
From Paddy, via text

40 mins: HALF-TIME: USA 3-13 TONGA
The whistle goes and we can all have a breather. That was good stuff and America can be pleased with the way they have fought back after Tonga's superb start.

39 mins: Vungakoto Lilo produces a last-gasp tackle to prevent America from crossing. He is hurt in the process and needs lengthy treatment.

37 mins: Wonderful stuff from USA full-back Chris Wyles as he turns defence into attack with a dancing break from near his own line. Clever takes it on but becomes isolated and eventually America turn the ball over.

"In response to cambiaso, winning ugly is better than losing! The game isn't over yet, it could just be a momentary lapse for the Eagles today."
Anonymous, via text

"You can get 10-1 on Tonga beating England, at the moment that looks like generous odds."
From truewit on 606

33 mins: PENALTY USA 3-13 Tonga America win a penalty after some good work from Albert Tuipulotu and Hercus this time collects the points that his side deserve.

30 mins: There is a brief pause as USA lock Alec Parker is treated after a big hit. That will not be the first time that happens today.

26 mins: PENALTY: USA 0-13 Tonga There is a great atmosphere at the Stade de la Mosson although I'm not really sure a Mexican wave is called for. USA flanker Louis Stanfill lies all over the ball at a ruck and Hola calmly chips over the kick. The Tongans will be relieved with that as it comes after a period of American dominance.

"What a start to the game. My mate Baloo Joafe will be loving it. Although with that name, he could probably be on the Tongan team. "
Anonymous, via text.

21 mins: Takudzwa Ngwenya looks a lively presence on the wing and America look to get him away again. Tonga are a match for it although a clearance from Hola is dreadful and the USA can apply the pressure.

"Tonga put 10 points on USA in the first six minutes. It took us 35 minutes to get into double figures!"
From cambiaso on 606

17 mins: After that explosive start from Tonga, the USA are slowly getting their act together and they get a kickable penalty when Tonga for playing the ball on the floor. Skipper Mike Hercus cannot add to his 360 international points tally as he misses.

13 mins: Forgot to say earlier on, get in touch with your views on the day's action and where you are going to catch up with the games. Get involved on 606 or via text, using the number above.

10 mins: It's all calmed down a bit now. America try and build the phases but they are penalised for not staying on their feet at a ruck and Tonga can clear.

6 mins: PENALTY: USA 0-10 Tonga
Easy, lads, I can't keep up. American open-side flanker Todd Clever infringes at a ruck and Hola slots over the penalty.

5 mins: Tongan centre Sukanaivalu Hufanga latches onto a looping pass and splits the American defence from inside his own half. They are looking menacing and the USA are struggling to get their hands on the ball.

2 mins: TRY: USA 0-7 Tonga
Tonga get the game underway and immediately the forwards rumble their way towards the line. Number eight Finau Maka pops up with the ball and crosses for the first try of the game. What a start. Fly-half Pierre Hola adds the conversion.

1258: The teams complete their anthems. It is a warm afternoon in Montpellier and there is quite a crowd enjoying the sunshine. Tonga perform their version of the haka and I'm quite glad I'm not facing it.

1250: Afternoon all. Back again for the first of Wednesday's matches - the Pool A contest between USA and Tonga.

The Tongans are known as a physical outfit and if you like your big hits, this is the place to be.

They are currently ranked 14th in the world, one place ahead of America, and have only two wins in their World Cup history so far.

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing former Stourbridge scrum-half Soane Patita Pat Boone Sioape Havea in action. Great name.

The USA did themselves proud against England at the weekend but are without centre Paul Emerick following his five-week ban.

The two sides have met twice before, with the teams claiming a win apiece.

USA 15-25 Tonga
12 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
England 28-10 USA
08 Sep 07 |  English
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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