July 18, 2021
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Samoa qualifies for 2023 World Cup

Manu Samoa has qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup after beating Tonga 42-13 in their second and final qualifying match yesterday in New Zealand.

They will join England, Japan and Argentina in Pool D.

Tonga will face now the Cook Islands in Auckland next weekend for the right to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Manu Samoa looked in complete control after going into halftime with a 20-3 lead, with tries to winger Ed Fidow and halfback Jonathan Taumateine backed up by accurate kicking from Henry Taefu and Rodney Iona.

But the 'Ikale Tahi battled back in the second half, replacement hooker Jay Fonokalafi powering over for the try 10 minutes after the restart.

Five minutes later, flanker Sione Tu'ipolotu crashed over from close range to narrow the score to 23-15.

Tonga looked even more dangerous when Samoa were reduced to 14 men in the 65th minute when prop Tietie Tuimauga was yellow-carded.

But they couldn't capitalise on the advantage, and Samoa wrapped the game up with tries to Stacey Ili and Kalolo Tuiloma.

By Romeka Romena  

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