26 Nov 2016

Sport: Tonga to take the game to Italy

9:10 am on 26 November 2016

Tonga are billing tomorrow's Northern Tour finale against Italy as their own grand final.

Scrum training at 'Ikale Tahi practice in Spain.

Scrum training at 'Ikale Tahi practice in Spain. Photo: Tonga Rugby Union

The 'Ikale Tahi have chalked up victories over Spain and the United States in the past fortnight but will face an Italian side in Padua fresh from a shock victory over South Africa.

Head coach Toutai Kefu said it was their biggest challenge yet but one they're looking forward to.

"We would have been better off if they didn't beat the Springboks in our case but look this finishes our tour on a bit of a grand final - on a bit of a high note - so definitely our biggest challenge yet and I think you want to play these type of games," he said.

"No disrespect to Spain or USA but you want to play the hard games every now and then. This will be a good challenge for us. It will tell us where we're at...but the boys are going to turn up and give it their all."

Toutai Kefu said what we've known about them is just their line-speed in general phase play and general defence is quite strong, so that's something we have to look out for but these last couple of weeks have always been about us and where we can improve and what we can control.

"We have to take that mentality into the game where we're going to be aggressive and take the fight to them."

"We're not going to sit back on our haunches and just let the game unfold in front of us - we have to go and take the game to them," Kefu said.