Tonga have beaten Samoa 36-4 in their rugby league Test in Penrith.
Beaten by Samoa in their past two encounters, Tonga scored seven tries to one in front of a very vocal and enthusiastic crowd of 10,143.
Both teams will be even stronger at the upcoming World Cup but for the moment it is Tonga who will head into the tournament with plenty of confidence, especially as they are in an easier group.The entertaining clash was played in great spirit amongst these fierce rivals and we should see this become a permanent fixture in the rep calender. Mahe Fonua, centre Siuatonga Likiliki and five-eighth Samsoni Langi each scored two tries, Langi in particular was very impressive as was Fuifui Moi Moi up front.
Australia held off a determined New Zealand Kiwis outfit by 32 points to 12 last night in Canberra
The Aussies will head into the World Cup as favorites but holders New Zealand will have gained plenty of positives from the match.
The Kiwis were understrength and were on top at half time when the score was 6-6.
The Kangaroos defence was outstanding though and that frustrated the Kiwis into errors in the second half, together with some harsh decisions and the bounce of the ball went Australia's way as they pulled away.
The entire Aussie pack was strong with Paul Gallen again a stand out and Luke Lewis brilliantly played the role of supersub.
Isaac Luke, Jesses Bromwich, Sam McKendry and Frank Pritchard were superb for the Kiwis.
The two powerful nations go head to head tonight at Centrebet Stadium in Penrith with places in the World Cup squads up for grabs.
Both teams are confident they can at least make the semi finals at the Cup later this year and a quick look at the two lineups for tonights battle shows why.
1 Matthew Wright - Cronulla Sharks
2 Kalifa Faifai Loa - NQ Cowboys
3 Antonio Winterstein - NQ Cowboys
4 Junior Sa'u - Melbourne Storm
5 Daniel Vidot - St George Illawarra
6 Carlos Tuimavave - NZ Warriors
7 Ben Roberts - Parramatta Eels
8 Jeff Lima - South Sydney Rabbitohs
9 Masada Iosefa - West Tigers
10 Roy Asotasi - South Sydney Rabbitohs
11 Eddy Pettybourne - West Tigers
12 Sam Tagataese - Cronulla Sharks
13 Lama Tasi - Sydney Roosters
14 Leeson Ah Mau - St George Illawarra
15 Martin Taupau - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
16 Mark Taufua - Cronulla Sharks
17 Alex Elisala - NQ Cowboys
Matty Smith has come on beautifully this season for Wigan under the coaching of Shaun Wane.
Now 26 years old, he has matured into a fine all round halfback with a good kicking game, a perfect link between back and forwards and he is taking the line on.
His organisation skills are far better than any of his rivals for the number 7 spot, Wigan maintain their shape better than any other team in Super League.
All of these attributes is what England will need if they are to have a great World Cup.
England will have a really strong forward pack with plenty of size and mobility so they will need a playmaker to steer them around, Smith is that man.
They say in Rugby League circles that "the spine of the team" is crucial, the spine being the fullback, halfbacks, lock and hooker.
The Australian Kangaroos are clearly advantaged by the fact that Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk know each others games back to front because they play together each week at the Melbourne Storm.
England could also benefit from having a team built around Wigan's "spine of Sam Tomkins, Matty Smith, possibly Sean O'Loughlin and Michael McIllorum (James Roby coming off the bench)
Other options for coach McNamara are Richard Myler who is developing nicely but not quite ready yet, Jonny Lomax, Rob Burrow, Danny Mcguire and Danny Brough who like Rangi Chase is a bit too unpredictable.
Wales may go into the World Cup as underdogs but some of their players are in the best form of their careers.
An impressive forward pack of Craig Kopzcak, Gil Dudson, Ben Flower Tyson Frizzell and Lloyd White should not be taken lightly. They will be backed up by Ben Evans, Rhodri Lloyd, Jake Emmitt and Jordan James.
An area Wales were expected to trouble was in the halves but Daniel Mortimer's availability will be a real bonus for coach Iestyn Harris and his team.
Elliott Kear, Rhys Williams and Michael Channing will offer Super League experience in the backline, Wales kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy in Cardiff.
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