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Tonga secures final spot in Pool C for 2019 Rugby World Cup

Tonga secures final spot in Pool C for 2019 Rugby World Cup

Tonga qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan without having to play on Saturday after a hat-trick of tries from scrumhalf Henry Seniloli helped Fiji to a 38-16 win over Samoa in Apia.

Now Tonga can look forward to facing some of the biggest nations in the game in Japan, as they join a competitive Group C which consists of England, France, Argentina and the United States.

Tonga will be playing in its seventh straight World Cup and its eighth overall.

Samoa still have two more chances to qualify for the World Cup.

"Now we've secured ourselves a 2019 Rugby World Cup spot, we want to keep improving".

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Fiji fly-half Ben Volavola was immaculate with the boot, kicking five conversions and a penalty for a personal haul of 13 points in the victory.

After Samoa, it is planned to roll out the programme in Fiji, the Cook Islands and Tonga.

Fiji made the better start at Apia Park and took an early lead through a converted try for scrum-half Seniloli. Seniloli was rewarded in all three tries for his outstanding supporting play, staying on the shoulder of fullback Timoci Naguca to score his first. However, Samoa, with the breeze at their backs, fought back and some enterprising play from a quick tap penalty saw captain David Lemi score a try in the left corner.

Seniloli's hat-trick and tries from centre Jale Vatubua and lock Api Ratuniyarawa ensured the Fijians went unbeaten in the Pacific Nations tournament and finished on 17 points.

Flyhalf Tusi Pisi missed his first two shots at goal but kicked three in a row to give Samoa a 16-14 lead at halftime. "I'd like to congratulate Fiji for their win in the PNC", Lemi said.


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