25 Oct 2010

Tonga gets a pass mark as coach calls for more matches

2:41 pm on 25 October 2010

Despite a 22-6 loss to Pacific Island rivals Samoa, Tonga rugby league coach Charlie Tonga has given his side a pass mark after their first and only international of the year.

But he says the only way his team will improve is if they are able to play more test matches on a regular basis.

Richard Fa'aoso opened the scoring for Tonga in the 26th minute but it proved to be their only points of the night as Toa Samoa ran in four unanswered tries.

Charlie Tonga says with a number of players having flown in from the United Kingdom for the one-off game, he was generally satisfied with the hit-out.

"We had a simple game plan. First half we showed it and second half I think we got comfortable and went away from it - we've taken away a lot from it. You know it's been a great week - even just one weeks camp but the boys are just really coming in, they were gelling in as a result. Despite the result mate you know I'm pretty happy with the boys. It shows we've got a lot to work to - towards the world cup anyway."

Charlie Tonga says he's been talking with the Rugby League International Federation about getting more regular matches, which he says would help encourage more players to make themselves available for selection.