17 Jan 2011

Tonga run out of legs against Rebels

11:31 am on 17 January 2011

Despite an ugly-looking scoreboard Tonga are keeping upbeat after their first hit-out of 2011 against new Super Rugby Franchise, the Melbourne Rebels.

The Rebels won 43-13, in their first ever competitive match, despite trailing 13-12 at halftime, with former Newcastle Knights winger Cooper Vuna bagging a hattrick in his 15-a-side debut.

Tongan technical advisor, John McKee, says his side muscled up and showed good patience in the first 40 minutes but eventually ran out of legs.

"After the halftime break they obviously had fresh players out there, and enabled them to exploit a few holes in the defence and, probably, a couple of their players really had quite a big influence on the game. We both used all our squad but they had a bigger squad than us so our guys were pretty tired towards the end."

The two teams will play again in Morwell on Friday night.