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Tonga defeat Cook Islands

Tonga defeat Cook Islands
Tonga have defeated the Cook Islands 22-16 at the World Cup, see how the match unfolded.



Zero minutes: It's a new stadium record crowd at the Leigh Sports Village ground for two of the tournament's more entertaining (if erratic) teams.


3rd minute: Tonga are forced to defend their own tryline with the Cook Islands on the attack, but an accidental offside from the Cooks ends a disappointing attacking set.


7th minute: Glen Fisiiahi starts an attacking raid down the right for Tonga, sending Sika Manu clear for a line break before collecting the return pass to cross for the game's opening points. Samisoni Langi converts, 6-0 Tonga.


10th minute: Cook Islands fullback Drury Low takes a bomb under pressure but is immediately clattered into the in-goal, with the Tongans forcing a dropout. But a mistake early in the set from Tonga lets the pressure off.


12th minute: Isaac John chips a perfectly weighted kick to the left wing, where Chris Taripo takes it on the fly to score for the Cook Islands. He converts his own try, 6-6.


17th minute: Tonga receives back-to-back penalties but the Cook Islands' goal-line defence holds firm despite bullocking runs from Fuifui Moimoi and Konrad Hurrell.


19th minute: Taripo is in again for the Cook Islands, pouncing on a grubber kick from Drury Low to score in the corner. The Cook Islands lead 10-6.


27th minute: The Cooks continue to attack down Taripo's left edge, running the ball on the last tackle only for the play to break down 10 metres from the tryline.


30th minute: Echoes of Martin Bella circa 1993 as Sam Mataora is rattled by a tackle and plays the ball the wrong way for Cook Islands. Penalty to Tonga 40 metres out.


31st minute: Wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo capitalises on Mataora's mistake, crashing through two would-be tacklers and carrying another couple over the tryline to level the scores. A nice conversion from Langi edges Tonga ahead 12-10.


37th minute: A penalty goal to Langi puts Tonga ahead 14-10 with halftime closing in.


39th minute: Konrad Hurrell steals the show with an unstoppable solo run, bouncing through three defenders to score from 40 metres out. Tonga leads 18-10 at halftime.


43rd minute: The Cook Islands strike back at the start of the second term as Taripo claims his hat-trick, taking a ball from Low and acrobatically diving over in the corner. He converts it from the sideline as well to make it 18-16.


54th minute: More pressure from the Cook Islands forces a Tongan error close to their own line. The Cooks spread the ball left and right during the set and keep the ball alive on the last tackle, but can't find a way through the Tongan defence this time.


62nd minute: Three straight penalties swing the momentum Tonga's way and they finally turn possession into points when Jorge Taufua is awarded a try by the video referee in the corner. Langi's conversion attempt drifts wide, 22-16.


69th minute: Jordan Rapana bombs a try for the Cook Islands in spectacular fashion, losing control of the ball after crossing over the tryline untouched on the right flank.


70th minute: The Tongans return the favour, with high-flying Roosters winger Daniel Tupou bringing down a bomb in typical fashion before throwing a horrible low pass to an unmarked Glen Fisiiahi in front of the posts.


75th minute: Tonga hooker Pat Politoni sends an opportunistic field-goal attempt wide of the posts.


78th minute: An Isaac John bomb is spilled by Tonga near their own line before Fuifui Moimoi grounds the ball in-goal, but the video referee spots a Cook Islands knock-on so possession goes Tonga's way.


Fulltime: It's all over, with Tonga keeping their slight hopes alive with a narrow 22-16 victory.