7 Sep 2019

Sport: Tonga hoping to 'shock' All Blacks

6:11 am on 7 September 2019

The odds are firmly against them but Tonga are holding out hope of an historic result against the All Blacks this afternoon.

Tonga and New Zealand last played during the 2015 World Cup.

Tonga and New Zealand last played during the 2015 World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 'Ikale Tahi have never beaten the world champions in five attempts, with an average losing margin of 65-7.

The Kingdom have only managed one win in four tests this year but coach Toutai Kefu is refusing to wave the white flag.

"I still believe that we're a chance of playing well and getting close. People are talking and I hear (us being written off but) the All Blacks are the number one team in the world so we're under no illusions about that but we've still got a chance, regardless of how small that is, so the message has always been to believe."

Tonga rugby coach Toutai Kefu.

Tonga rugby coach Toutai Kefu. Photo: Supplied/Tonga Rugby Union

Kefu said the All Blacks will be a good measure of where they are at two weeks out from their World Cup opener.

"We want to keep testing ourselves under pressure, keep trying to execute under pressure and still sifting through some combinations and trying to execute the way we want to play."

Tonga face daunting challenge over the next four weeks with the All Blacks to be followed by England, Argentina and France in the pool stage of the World Cup.

But forwards coach Dan Cron said their goal is to shock the world.

"I'm not sure what the TAB will have us at but it should be a good collect but there's been bigger upsets. We showed a video clip on Monday of Leicester winning the English Premier League, they were 5000 to 1; Douglas beating Tyson he was 44 to 1, so we're realistic.

"If we play the All Blacks 100 times they probably win 99 but there's always that one and that's what we're preparing for the best we can is that one - the Lotto seven million to one but someone's got to win it."

Sam Lousi of the Hurricanes

Tonga's Sam Lousi will come up against some former Hurricanes teammates. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

'Ikale Tahi lock Sam Lousi spent the last three years playing in Wellington and is looking forward to locking horns with some familiar faces.

"Especially playing in New Zealand for the last three years you play against those boys every week and you get to go up against them. Like I said, they're the best in the world so it will be a good challenge, especially coming up against some Hurricanes boys."

The 'Ikale Tahi squad will depart for the Rugby World Cup tomorrow.

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