Australia v Tonga
Australia v Tonga

Buzz: One of the great moments in rugby league

None of us like seeing Australia get beaten in any sporting event.

Yet this was one of the greatest moments in international rugby league history.

For the Tongans to beat the mighty Kangaroos with a non NRL coach, Kristian Woolf, and without specialist halves, was truly a remarkable victory.

For the first time Australia lost to a second-tier nation and there was nothing fluky about it.

Just a red tidal wave that completely swamped the Kangaroos.

 

The Kangaroos lost amid a sea of red. Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
The Kangaroos lost amid a sea of red. Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

 

 

On paper, Australia had the stronger outfit with more skill, more experience and the bigger pay packets.

But the Tongans wanted it more. It was an old-fashioned ambush.

They ran the football with more power and purpose. They defended as though their lives depended on it and the Kangaroos just couldn't cope with it.

It was relentless pressure like an Origin games.

 

What a moment this was for rugby league. Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
What a moment this was for rugby league. Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

 

Australia's big match playmakers Daly Cherry Evans and Cameron Munster could be accused of cracking under pressure in the big moments at the end of the game.

In fairness they were playing behind a beaten pack of forwards.

This was a game that the Tongans won in the middle.

As much as it was painful for Mal Meninga and his players, they left Eden Park knowing the better team had won. And that international rugby league fans had just witness a magnificent Test match.

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News Corp Australia


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