TO say that Tonga has soared up the Rugby League International Federation (RFIL) rankings list after a stunning World Cup run is an understatement to the manner in which it achieved the feat. The South Sea islanders brought the tournament to life even before it began and overshadowed Australia’s gallant defence of the crown against England with a hardfought 6-0 victory. The Mate Ma’a’s dream run ended at the top four but they will forever be remembered as the story of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
In the lead-up to the World Cup Jason Taumalolo featured prominently in New Zealand colours but switched to play for Tonga at the last minute. His decision shocked everyone, most of all NZ coach David Kidwell. He was joined by former Kiwis David Fusitu’a, Sio Siua Taukei’aho and Manu Ma’u. They were joined by Kangaroos prop Andrew Fifita, who had already been named in the Kangaroos squad.
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