Scotland hope to shake-off underdog status in tough World Cup group
Gregor Townsend has made four changes to his starting team and after defeat to South Africa, Scotland likely need a bonus-point win to keep their last-eight hopes alive. Pierre Schoeman and Grant Gilchrist are replaced by Rory Sutherland and Scott Cumming, while backs Chris Harris and Kyle Steyn take the places of Huw Jones and Darcy Graham, who moves to the bench.
Tonga have only played one match so far this tournament, which was their 59-16 loss to Ireland last weekend. Head coach Toutai Kefu was eager to take the positives from the defeat as they look to stun Scotland, who must now win all of their remaining games to have a hope of qualifying after Ireland’s victory over South Africa on Saturday night.
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PENALTY! Scotland 7-3 TONGA (William Havili penalty, 10 minutes)
William Havili’s left boot is on the money from just left of centre. Tonga are on the board.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:57
Scotland 7-0 Tonga, 8 minutes
Scotland fumble inside their own half, granting Tonga an attacking platform. Rory Sutherland collapses under the strain of the boulder-like Ben Tameifuna, and when Tonga can’t make the most of a grubber, Karl Dickson calls them back to the penalty.
Tameifuna points at the posts.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:56
TRY! SCOTLAND 7-0 Tonga (George Turner try, 5 minutes)
What a maul! Oh, that is a thing of muscular beauty from the Scottish forwards, parting the red sea of Tonga shirts in arrow-head formation and motoring the remaining 15 metres to the line. George Turner applies the finishing touches, Finn Russell converts – crikey that is some sort of physical statement.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:52
Scotland 0-0 Tonga, 4 minutes
Scotland’s lineout fails to function after Tonga clear their lines, but the advancing Pacific Islanders were over eager, and are pinged for offside. Finn Russell sends his forwards down into the 22.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:51
Scotland 0-0 Tonga, 2 minutes
Tonga go to the air and get joy, Scotland knocking on as they try to claim. But Tonga are wasteful, playing a couple of aimless phases and then tossing the ball to a blue shirt.
Kicked ahead, pure pace from Blair Kinghorn! The full-back is like a thoroughbred racehorse on the chase, and gets to the ball first…but can’t collect cleanly with the try line begging! Wow. All Kinghorn had to do was gather and ground from a yard out but through his fingertips it slips!
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:49
Scotland 0-0 Tonga, 1 minute
The opening kick off lands in the hands of Jack Dempsey, who puts some footwork on Solomone Kata but can’t beat the Leciester bound wing. Scotland clear up beyond halfway, from where Charles Piutau shimmies, but Jamie Ritchie locks his limbs around the full back to prevent further progress.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:47
Tonga fly half William Havili gets us underway in Nice.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:46
Tonga assemble in formation for the Sipi Tau, laying down their challenge, with Sonatane Takulua leading the charge.
Here we go. Can Tonga spring a surprise and end Scotland’s quarter-final hopes?
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:45
Scotland vs Tonga
The Tonga players drape fists over hearts as they sing along to “Ko e fasi ʻo e tuʻi ʻo e ʻOtu Tonga”, some closing their eyes in reflection.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:43
Scotland vs Tonga
Out come the players, stepping out on to a Stade de Nice pitch holding a fourth game in eight days. It still looks in decent nick – there was a fair bit of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday which freshened it up.
Harry Latham-Coyle24 September 2023 16:40