Tonga vs Australia Rugby League Test Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Kangaroos and Tonga clash for the first time

Andrew Hendrie 19 Oct 2018
  • Tonga and Australia face off in Auckland in a Rugby League Test match on Saturday
  • It's the first ever meeting between the two nations
Australia face Tonga on Saturday

Australia aim to avoid consecutive defeats in the same year for the first time since 1978 when they face Tonga for the first time at Mt. Smart Stadium on Saturday.

Australia vs Tonga kicks off at 5.45pm AEST at Mt. Smart Stadium in Auckland. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia.

Prediction

Match Preview


The last time the Kangaroos suffered back-to-back defeats in the same calendar year was all the way back in 1978 when they lost twice to France - and after last week’s lacklustre performance against New Zealand, the Australian team is staring down he barrel of making unwanted history on Saturday against the explosive Tongan side.

That year was also incidentally the last time Australia lost a Test match to a team other than New Zealand, England or Great Britain.

Australia only went down by two point against New Zealand last week, but the 26-24 scoreline flattered them as their forwards were consistently overpowered by the Kiwis, while they were also missing the star quartet of Billy Slater, Jonathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith, all of whom won’t don the Kangaroos jersey again.

Mal Meninga is in the middle of trying to usher in a new era, but his team is vulnerable right now - can Tonga take advantage?

The Mate Ma'a have been incredible to watch over the last couple of seasons with their unrivalled passion and intensity, but after the defections of Andrew Fifita and Jason Taumalolo from Australia and New Zealand respectively, Tonga have began to build a side that is genuinely capable of hanging alongside of those aforementioned countries.

After a heartbreaking two-point loss in the World Cup semi-finals to England last year cost them a shot at Australia, Tonga finally get to prove themselves against the world’s best on Saturday.

You’ve still got to label the Kangaroos as favourites, but they will have to improve from last week’s display. Tonga will come out of the blocks firing, but Australia should be able to weather the storm over 80 minutes. That being said, I still think this will be a close game and it wouldn’t surprise me if Tonga were right in it with 10 minutes to play.

Match Odds


Australia - $1.30
Tonga - $3.55


Teams


Tonga: 1. Will Hopoate, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. David Fusitu’a, 6. Tuimoala Lolohea, 7. Ata Hingano, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Sio Siua Taukaiaho, 11. Tevita Pangai Jr, 12. Sika Manu, 13. Jason Taumalolo

Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa, 15. Addin Fonua-Blake, 16. Joe Ofahengaue, 17. Peni Terepo

Reserves: 18. Konrad Hurrell, 19. Leivaha Pulu, 20. Robert Jennings, 21 Ben Murdoch-Masila

Kangaroos: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Dane Gagai, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Tom Trbojevic, 5. Valentine Holmes, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (vc), 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Josh McGuire

Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 16. Tyson Frizell, 17. Aaron Woods, 18. Tyrone Peachey, 19. Reagan Campbell-Gillard

Tips


Bonuses


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Tonga vs Australia Rugby League Test Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Kangaroos and Tonga clash for the first time

Australia aim to avoid consecutive defeats in the same year for the first time since 1978 when they face Tonga for the first time at Mt. Smart Stadium on Saturday.

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