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Tonga hammer weary Scotland
Tonga end their disappointing Rugby League World Cup campaign with a 48-0 victory.
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2008 11:31 GMT

Tonga set up their welcoming committee [GALLO/GETTY]
Tonga destroyed a battered and bruised Scotland in their final Rugby League World Cup match.

The Pacific Islanders secured a seventh place in the event with their 48-0 dismantling of the Scots in front of a sellout 5913 crowd at Rockhampton's Browne Park.

The Scots were always up against it, missing inspirational captain Danny Brough and playing in oppressive 30 degree-plus heat in the city situated on the Tropic of Capricorn.

But the Tongans had their own hurdles to overcome, with team manager Bob Jones missing the match in Yeppoon Hospital after experiencing chest pains on match morning, and the death of coach Jim Dymock's father-in-law on game eve.

Too strong

But Tonga were simply too strong for their northern hemisphere counterparts, who failed to back up their shock win, Scotland's first in World Cup history, over Fiji just last Wednesday.

Leading 24-0 at halftime, the Tongans picked up where they left off when Tony Williams smashed his way over in the 45th minute, his conversion giving Tonga an unassailable lead.

Cooper Vuna crossed for his second try 10 minutes later to make it 36-0.

Tired defence couldn't hold the Tongans from there, with tries from Fetuli Talanoa (59th) and Michael Jennings (80th) completing the rout.

The Tongans had taken just four minutes to get on the board, using five-eighth and man of the match Feleti Mateo's height to advantage.

Willie Manu meets some Scottish resistance [GALLO/GETTY]
Opening try

Mateo went up for an Eddie Paea chip and came down with the ball to score near the posts. Williams converted and it was 6-0 early.

A high tackle by Scottish prop Scott Logan on Eddie Paea put the Tongans on the attack again, and Paea took the opportunity, scooting through a gap to score in the eighth minute.

A forward pass ruled by referee Shane Hayne saved Scotland the embarrassment of three tries in the first 14 minutes after Jennings had put Vuna over with a long ball.

Scotland managed to gain some field position from there and were denied when second rower Iain Morrison spilled the ball with the line open in the 22nd minute.

And it was Tonga who answered, with Etuate Waisele diving over in the corner a few tackles after a 70-metres break by Jennings.

Scottish hopes were dashed again in the 33rd minute when hooker and captain Ben Fisher burrowed from dummy half but lost the ball trying for downward pressure.

The Scots handed Tonga another six points just before the break when a loose pass landed in Vuna's hands and he ran 90 metres to score under the posts for a 24-0 halftime lead.

Source:
Agencies
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