10 Sep 2011

Sport: Tonga's coach says team paid for a poor start

6:44 am on 10 September 2011

Tongan rugby coach, Isitolo Maka, was pleased with his side's second half showing against the All Blacks last night but says they were made to pay for a poor start to the match.

New Zealand won the Rugby World Cup opener 41-10 at Eden Park after leading 29-3 at half-time.

Isitolo Maka says the 'Ikale Tahi were rusty in the opening exchanges and some players appeared to let the occasion get to them.

He says when they cut out the simple mistakes they showed what the can do, but by then it was too late.

"I thought we did well the second half we controlled the ball but you know we had a bit of possession second half and we were rewarded with a try but I think the damage was done first half."

Isitolo Maka says now the team has a game under their belts he's confident they will improve in their next match against Canada on Wednesday.