Tonga dash Samoa’s World Cup hopes

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Tonga celebrate a try. Tonga v Samoa, Rugby League World Cup, FMG Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Tonga celebrate a try. Tonga v Samoa, Rugby League World Cup, FMG Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo: Photosport)

Samoa’s hopes of advancing to the playoffs of the Rugby League World Cup suffered a major blow tonight.

It did when Tonga handed them a 32-18 loss at the much-anticipated clash of the Pacific teams at Hamilton. 

Fresh from a hat-trick in the opening-round win over Scotland, Michael Jennings claimed two further four-pointers on this occasion - twice capitalising on first-half errors from Ken Maumalo.

Tonga led 14-6 at the interval and then pulled clear in the second half with further scores from Peni Terepo and Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Ben Roberts and Tim Lafai went over as Samoa rallied, but Tonga were not to be denied and wrapped up an entertaining contest through Manu Ma'u's late score.

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