Mate Ma'a Tonga stun Kiwis with historic first ever win over NZ in bruising World Cup thriller

Mate Ma'a Tonga have created history with their first ever win over the Kiwis, winning 28-22 at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton today.


77 mins - KIWIS 22 TONGA 28

TRY! David Fusitua has scored his third try of the match and that should seal it for Tonga.

73 mins - KIWIS 22 TONGA 24

TRY! Roger Tuivasa-Sheck powers over to score beating several Tongan defenders after some superb passing and offloads from his teammates in the lead up. Shaun Johnson lands the conversion and the Kiwis trail by two points.

65 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 24

TRY! Will Hopoate rubs salt into the wounds of the Kiwis running a great support line off Ben Murdoch-Masila who made a great break. Sio Siua Taukeiaho converts the try with ease.

62 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 18

TRY! Tui Lolohea has given his side the lead for the first time of the match after making a beautiful intercept to score under the posts. Sio Siua Taukeiaho lands the kick for Tonga to lead by two points.

58 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 12

TRY! Tonga are in after again with David Fusitu'a scoring his second of the match. Looked like Tui Lolohea had butchered the last play but he passes the ball to Konrad Hurrell who throws a clever pop pass for Fusitu'a who beats several Kiwis defenders to score.

Lolohea converts the try.

54 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 6

MISTAKE! Martin Taupau loses the ball and Tonga are now hot on attack. Making easy metres up field.

49 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 6

TRY! David Fusitu'a soars over the top of Kiwis' winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and slams the ball down over the try-line after a spot on cross field bomb from Tui Lolohea. Lolohea's conversion hits the uprights from out wide.

47 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2

PENALTY! The Kiwis are penalised for stripping the ball off Tonga's Mahe Fonua with more than two players making the tackle.

45 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2

NO TRY! Konrad Hurrell comes up short and loses the ball over the try-line. The Kiwis get out of jail.

45 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2

NO TRY! Tonga made some great offload plays and worked themselves into a good position to score but it all breaks down. Ata Hingano could have possibly scored had he gone himself but Brad Takarangi gets in the way and is penalised for batting the ball down.

42 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2

NO TRY! The Kiwis almost score off their first set of the match after Jordan Rapana put a perfect grubber into the in-goal. But Daniel Tupou gets back in time to bat the ball into touch. Tonga are forced to make a goal-line dropout.

40 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2

And we are back underway! With Tui Lolohea kicking off for Tonga to the Kiwis.


39 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2

TRY! Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has charged over to score after a great offload from Brad Takarangi. Shaun Johnson converts the try scored by Tuivasa-Sheck.

37 mins - KIWIS 10 TONGA 2

NO TRY! The Tongans are denied a try after officials rule Ata Hingano's pass to Mahe Fonua to have gone forward. Daniel Tupou made an awesome effort to make the catch and dive over the try-line, but his effort was in vain.

35 mins - KIWIS 10 TONGA 2

PENALTY! Nelson Asafo-Solomona has been penalised for a high tackle and it's all on as the Tongan players and Kiwis boys start pushing and shoving.

35 mins - KIWIS 10 TONGA 2

GOAL LINE DROPOUT! A great set from Tonga with Siliva Havili putting a smart grubber kick and Kodi Nikorima can't get out of his own in-goal.

33 mins - KIWIS 10 TONGA 2

PENALTY! Tonga catch a break as they are awarded a penalty with the ref blowing his whistle for the Kiwis being offside.

31 mins - KIWIS 10 TONGA 2

PENALTY! Peni Terepo gives away another penalty for being offside and the Kiwis march into the Tonga's half.

29 mins - KIWIS 10 TONGA 2

TRY! Jordan Rapana is in for the Kiwis as he dives over the right hand corner for NZ. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck led it with a huge 40m charge at the start of the set. The Kiwis shift the ball from left to right and Rapana makes an excellent finish.

Shaun Johnson lands the conversion from out wide. 

25 mins - KIWIS 4 TONGA 2

NO TRY! Danny Levi opts to scoot over the try-line but he loses the ball over the chalk. And Tonga get out of trouble.

23 mins - KIWIS 4 TONGA 2

PENALTY! Nelson Asofa-Solomona runs over the top of Tongan centre Konrad Hurrell and Tonga are penalised again. This time it is Hurrell who is penalised for not rolling out of the ruck in time.

20 mins - KIWIS 4 TONGA 2

Tonga's Jason Taumalolo. Tonga v Samoa, Rugby League World Cup, FMG Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand. Saturday, 4 November, 2017. Copyright photo: John Cowpland /
Tonga's Jason Taumalolo in action against Toa Samoa at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand. Source: Photosport

TRY! And the Kiwis are in! Some slick handling from the Kiwis as Dean Whare gets on the outside of his opposite and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak dives in to score in the left hand corner. Shaun Johnson misses his attempt at goal from out wide.

18 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2

Ata Higano makes a superb catch as he defuses a possible try scoring opportunity from NZ as he pounces onto a grubber from Shaun Johnson.

17 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2

A chance goes begging for Tonga as they bomb the kick on the last and they get themselves a penalty after some poor discipline from Tonga.

13 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2

NO TRY! Jordan Rapana is unable to hold onto the ball as the Kiwis looked like they were in. Rapana was about a metre in front of Brad Takarangi and Tong are able to keep the Kiwis out for now.

12 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2

There have been some stinging hits from both NZ and Tonga on defence - but it is the men in red that have been getting the better of their rivals marching up field with ease.

9 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2

The Kiwis have had little ball and it's all Tonga at the moment.

6 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2

TWO! Adam Blair is penalised for holding onto Jason Taumalolo too long in the tackle and Sio Siua Taukeiaho lands the penalty kick.

3 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 0

PENALTY! The Kiwis are penalised for holding down Mahe Fonua too long in the tackle and Tui Lolohea kicks the ball to touch - with the ball going into touch just inside NZ's 40m line.

2 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 0

A solid opening set from Tonga, a weird game plan from Tonga as they shift it wide early on the first tackle.

The Kiwis have a good return in their first set as they march deep into Tonga's half.


And we are underway! Shaun Johnson kicks off into the breeze to Tonga!

After a thrilling Haka and Sipi Tau the teams are now getting into position.


Both teams head into today's RLWC match unbeaten for the tournament, with the big talking point being about Jason Taumalolo - after he turned his back on New Zealand.

Ata Hingano and Tui Lolohea have formed a solid halves partnership for Tonga with their big star forwards Andrew Fifita, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Taumalolo creating havoc up front for most of their rivals.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson have controlled games well for the Kiwis with their running and passing game against Scotland and Toa Samoa.

Expect Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Russell Packer to provide a boost off the bench for New Zealand.

The game has been sold out with the Waikato Stadium expected to hold a capacity crowd of about 26,000.


Kiwis: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Dean Whare, Brad Takairangi, Jordan Rapana, Kodi Nikorima, Shaun Johnson, Martin Taupau, Thomas Leuluai, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Simon Mannering, Joseph Tapine, Adam Blair (c).

Interchange: Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Russell Packer, Isaac Liu, Danny Levi.

Tonga: Will Hopoate, Daniel Tupou, David Fusitu'a, Konrad Hurrell, Mah Fonua, Tuimoala Lolohea, Ata Hingano, Andrew Fifita, Sione Katoa, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Manu Ma'u, Sika Manu (c), Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: Siliva Havili, Peni Terepo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, T Pangai-Junior.

13 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2
17 mins - KIWIS 0 TONGA 2
39 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2
45 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 2
49 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 6
54 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 6
54 mins - KIWIS 16 TONGA 6


Sam Burgess' social media account at centre of Rabbitohs' sexting-scandal

A sexting scandal will hang over embattled South Sydney when they attempt to keep their NRL premiership dreams alive in tonight's semi-final against St George Illawarra.

The Rabbitohs are in the throes of an investigation into a star player's involvement in an alleged sex video during an online chat with a young woman in May.

News Corp Australia reported verified social media accounts belonging to star forward Sam Burgess is at the centre of the saga.

There was no suggestion Burgess was involved, however it is alleged multiple Rabbitohs players exposed themselves to the 23-year-old woman after a win over the Warriors.

The club revealed that it had contacted the woman on Friday, and that a panel had been established to co-ordinate the investigation alongside the NRL integrity unit.

South Sydney also confirmed that police have laid multiple charges on prop Zane Musgrove over a domestic assault matter.

The developments came less than a day before the Rabbitohs face the Dragons in a final-six clash, with the winner to advance to a grand final qualifier.

Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold admitted he was only made aware of the sexting drama on Thursday and that it was up to him to ensure the players' minds were on the job.

"They're professional athletes. I'm a professional coach. So that's our job," Seibold said.

"We've got to make sure that we have a really competent session (on Friday) in the team meeting room, and it's led by me.

"I need to make sure that I'm across what we need to do for tomorrow night's game. We've had a really good preparation so far.

"Obviously it's not ideal that these accusations have come out and they're front page news. It's not what anyone wants, it's not what I want. It's not what our game needs."

Rabbitohs pair Adam Reynolds (shoulder) and Greg Inglis (ribs) are both set to play despite carrying minor injuries from last week's qualifying final loss to Melbourne.

For the Dragons, skipper Gareth Widdop (shoulder) is missing and centre Euan Aitken (hamstring) also remains sidelined.

The winner will meet minor premiers Sydney Roosters for a spot in the grand final.

Sam Burgess of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Source: Photosport


'Touch wood that he is okay' - Paul Gallen in doubt for Sharks' tilt at NRL title

Cronulla are bracing for the prospect of being without inspirational captain Paul Gallen for Friday night's blockbuster NRL preliminary final showdown with the Melbourne Storm.

Gallen suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the Sharks' heart- stopping 21-20 semi-final win over Penrith and is racing the clock to be fit for the grudge match with their 2016 grand final rivals at AAMI Park.

"Gal is just a wait and see. We will get a scan. Touch wood that he is okay but it is a bit unknown," Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said.

"When Gal doesn't come back on, I am real concerned. He usually can just go in and get it strapped up and battle on. For him not to come back in a big semi- final is a bit concerning."

At 37, Gallen delivered one of his best performances of the season before the Sharks needed a Chad Townsend field goal five minutes from fulltime to avoid a shattering loss after having led the Panthers 18-0 at Allianz Stadium.

The Sharks are also sweating on fellow forward enforcer Luke Lewis to recover from a calf injury, but the retiring veteran insists he'll be "sweet"

"I'll be fine mate, to be honest with you," Lewis told AAP.

"I've just got to get through the next couple of days, get all the swelling down.

"But it's just a cork in a crappy position. It is what it is, though. I'm not too stressed about it."

The Sharks are one of the few teams to have the wood over Melbourne, not only famously beating the Storm in the grand final two years ago to win the club's elusive maiden premiership, but also conquering Craig Bellamy's team twice already this season.

"I am obviously excited about it," Flanagan said of the latest match-up for a berth in the 2018 title decider against either the Sydney Roosters, South Sydney or St George Illawarra.

"We have had some great tussles with them obviously from the (2016) grand final. They have been fantastic games.

"We have been lucky enough to win some and unlucky on a couple of occasions or they have been too good for us.

"It is a real challenge going down there on the back of Melbourne having a week off. They will be fresh.

"They will have some players back from suspension (Will Chambers) and injury (Nelson Asofa-Solomona) so we will have to be on our game if we are going to play in the grand final."

Paul Gallen of the Sharks Source: Getty



Storm skipper Cameron Smith reportedly agrees deal to play 18th NRL season

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith has reportedly agreed to terms to play an 18th NRL season with the Storm, which will see him pass 400 games.

Ahead of their preliminary final against Cronulla in Melbourne next Friday night, Smith has put pen to paper, according to News Corp Australia.

The 35-year-old made clear through the season his intentions to play on in 2019 but chief executive Dave Donaghy confirmed the parties had reached agreement on Thursday on a $1 million deal.

The Australian captain is the most capped NRL player of all time with 382 appearances - barring injury the new contract will allow him to play past the 400-game mark.

The Storm are set to lose veterans Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman, who will retire at season's end, so Smith's extension is timely.

Storm skipper Cameron Smith celebrates his drop goal. Source: Getty



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