9 Sep 2016

Sport: Tonga Schools make winning start to Australia tour

1:06 pm on 9 September 2016

The Tonga Under 18 rugby team opened their tour of Australia with a 45-8 thumping of New South Wales Catholic Combined Colleges in Newcastle yesterday.

The hosts scored the first points of the match through the boot of captain Patrick Pelligrini but Tonga quickly took control of the match and led 27-3 at the interval, scoring most of their points in the final ten minutes of the half.

Schoolsrugby.com.au reports that the Tongans continued to play open running rugby in the second half, with the Catholic Combined Colleges continually scrambling to shut down the attack.

The website says the strength and fitness of the Pacific Islanders allowed them to convert two more tries and kick a penalty, with the hosts managing a consolation try in the dying minutes of the game.

Tonga School next fixture is against New South Wales Combined High Schools on Tuesday before rounding off proceedings against Australian Schools Barbarians next weekend.

It's a busy month for schools rugby, with Samoa and Fiji both playing against Australia later this month.