Scotland has defeated Tonga 26-24 in what is easily the biggest upset of the World Cup so far.
Tonga exploded out of the blocks and an easy try early in the match seemed to confirm what most people thought, that this game would be very one sided. However Tonga played some very lazy football in the first half and Scotland started to cause them problems.
It wasn’t too long before one sneaky Scottish try turned into a big lead for Scotland. Tonga gave away a lot of possession through poor ball handling in the first half and gave away a lot of silly penalties. It all culminated in Scotland leading the game at halftime 20-4. Scotland had played well and you couldn’t take anything away from their first half performance. Tonga needed a rocket though. They were dreadful in the first 40 minutes.
After halftime Tonga seemed to settle and get through their sets. Their size and power started to wear down the Scottish side that started to make a few mistakes. Tonga scored a few tries and it looked like they would just roll over the top of Scotland. When Tonga took a 24-20 least mid way through the second half the game looked like it was set for an inevitable conclusion.
Once again though Tonga started playing a bit of lazy football and Scotland, who at times looked like they were done and dusted, fought their way back into it and scored a try in the 72nd minute. The conversion gave Scotland a 26-24 lead.
Tonga had their chances late in the game, crossing the line twice and being held up on both occasions. In the last minute they almost went the length of the field only for Scotland’s Kane Linnett to be sent to the sin bin for interfering with play from an offside position. This gave Tonga a set of six on the Scottish line with one minute remaining.
They went very close, and a charge at the try line as the siren went saw the ball fumbled and eventually the ball grounded by a Tongan player who claimed the try. The video ref saw a knock on by Tonga though and called no try. Game over. Scotland with the massive upset!
I said going into the World Cup that Tonga were battling with England and Samoa for a place in the semi final. Tonga are a far more talented team than Scotland. It didn’t count for much though as Tonga played some dreadful football and their World Cup hopes are basically over.
Well done to Scotland. There were time they looked totally outmatched and they never gave up. It was a great performance!
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