21 Sep 2011

Sport: Tonga seek to atone for Canada defeat

12:17 pm on 21 September 2011

Tonga returns to the Northland Events Centre on Wednesday night seeking to keep their Rugby World Cup playoff hopes alive and to atone for last weeks shock loss to Canada.

The 'Ikale Tahi defence leaked two late tries against the North Americans to slump to a 25-20 defeat.

Eight changes have been made to the starting fifteen to face Japan this evening and one of the few survivors, lock Tukulua Lokotui, says the players want to show they're better than that.

"The 22 that's been given the chance to play Japan they've all got something to prove, not just to the coaches and stuff but also to themselves and fans and family so we've got something to prove and hopefully we can put that all together on Wednesday. We're aiming to get four tries, that's one of our goals, but the first one is to win first and foremost and try and get four tries afterwards."

Tukulua Lokotui says he's been impressed by Japan's attacking mindset during the tournament and the team has tweaked their gameplan to try and nullify their threat with the ball in hand.

Tonga last met Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup in July, where the Brave Blossoms prevailed 28-27.