SAMOA QUALIFY FOR RWC 2023 AFTER WIN OVER TONGA
Samoa sealed their spot at the France 2023 Rugby World Cup after beating Tonga 37-15 in the second leg of the Oceania qualification play-off. The victory in Hamilton takes them to their ninth consecutive Rugby World Cup appearance. They will be in Pool D, together with England, Argentina, Japan and another qualifier from the Americas.
After winning the first leg with 42-13 in Auckland, Samoa continued their domination in the second match. They went on to take a convincing 20-3 lead before the break. Tonga made an attempt for a comeback early in the second half, but Samoa were simply too good and claim the World Cup place. Henry Taefu, Jonathan Taumateine, Ed Fidow, Stacey Ili and Kalolo Tuiloma were in the score sheet for Samoa.
Tonga still having a chance to qualify for France in 2023 if they beat Cook Islands on July 24, before facing an Asian winner (Hong Kong, South Korea or Malaysia) in the last qualifying match. Samoa have never missed a World Cup since 1991, and reached the quarterfinals in two occasions. Tonga had also played in eight World Cups except the 1991 edition.
Photo: Manu Samoa