22 Oct 2011

Sport: Tongan coach warns ABs to respect French threat

11:38 am on 22 October 2011

Tongan rugby coach Isitolo Maka has warned the All Blacks not to underestimate France in tomorrow's World Cup final.

The 'Ikale Tahi played both teams during pool play and caused one of the upsets of the tournament by beating France in their final match.

The tri-colours were also soundly beaten by New Zealand when the sides met four weeks ago but Isitolo Maka says that will count for little tomorrow night.

"Sometimes they can lose a game to a tier two country and then all of a sudden the can just turn up the next day and beat anyone in the world - it doesn't matter whether it's New Zealand, Australia or South Africa. France is a team you just never underestimate because on the day the French can play, no one can match them."

Isitolo Maka says despite his wariness of the French threat he's backing his former team, the All Blacks, to prevail and win the World Cup.