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Tonga ready for battle

Maciu Malo
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

THE Tongan rugby team is gearing up for another bruising and physical rugby battle against the Flying Fijians in their PNC match to be held at Lautoka's Churchill Park on Saturday.

Head coach Mana Otai said the rugby rivalry between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa was always physical.

He said his troops were used to the physical game and would give the Fijians a taste of their own medicine.

"Physical game it's a tradition between Tonga, Fiji and Samoa," said Otai.

"We are known for our physical game and we definitely expect the Fijians to be physical.

"Physicality is part of our game at the same time we want to play organised rugby against the Fijians.

"The game has evolved a lot as well so we are looking to play organised rugby blended with our natural flair."

Otai said his boys had also prepared to counter Fiji's running rugby.

"I have seen a bit of Fiji's game and Fijians are renowned for their running game which is why they are called the Flying Fijians."

"We are acknowledging that at the same time we are focussing on how we are going to play."

He said Tonga was expected to lift their performance from the Samoa game last week.

"We played our first game last week and obviously there is a lot of combination and stuff to work through."

"We lost a lot of opportunities in that match and the biggest learning curve is to make use of our opportunities against the Fijians.

"There are no major injuries but only bruises from the Samoan game and that is what we need to expect when we playe against our Pacific brothers," he added.

The game will kick off at 3pm.

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