Samoa’s loss is Tonga’s gain as kingdom qualifies for World Cup in Japan

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Ikale Tahi team meet Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva after the clash with Samoa at Teufaiva stadium. Photo/Filokalafi ʻAkauʻola

Tonga is in with a chance for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Tonga automatically qualifies after Fiji defeated Samoa 38-16 at the stadium in Apia this afternoon.

Tongan Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni applauded the result on Facebook, saying: “We are in 209 Rugby World Cup! Tonga’s in…vinaka Fiji…hard luck Samoa.”

This was the second time Fiji had faced off against Samoa this year in the Pacific Nations Cup.

Fijian coach John McKee said before the match he expected a hard game against Manu Samoa.

“With the PNC up for grabs and Samoa desperate to qualify for RWC in this series we expect a very tough challenge on Saturday,” McKee said.

Fiji has held the Pacific Nations Cup since 2015.

A win or draw would have qualified Samoa for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

A one point lead would have made them level with Tonga.

Speaking before the game, Samoan captain David Lemi said they wanted to qualify for the cup in front of their home crowd, but had another option open to them in case they lost.

This is Manu Samoa’s fourth international defeat this year.

Before this afternoon they had already gone down Tonga, Wales and New Zealand.

Fiji has already qualified for the Rugby World Cup.

The main points

  • Fiji’s defeat of Samoa this afternoon means Tonga qualifies for a place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
  • Fiji defeated Manu Samoa 28-20 at Apia stadium
  • Tonga Prime Minister’ Akilisi Pohiva applauded the win on Facebook.

For more information

Samoa and Fiji gearing up for rugby test in Apia

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