Tonga Capitalizes on Eagle Mistakes



Surrey, ENGLAND - Four tries by winger Viliami Iongi helped Tonga defeat the USA 44-13 in the second round of the Churchill Cup on Wednesday at Moseley Road in Surrey. 


The match was much closer than the score suggested, with Eagles center Paul Emerick putting his team within three points near the end of the first half. The second 40 minutes, however, saw danger man Iongi touch down three more tries for Tonga putting the match beyond doubt.


"It was a very disappointing performance. We didn't start well, but played ourselves back into the match, coming close to lead at half time," said Eagles Head Coach Eddie O'Sullivan.


Tonga struck first with a penalty from flyhalf Kurt Morath, which was followed by Iongi's first try. The flying winger took a skip pass, and then sold an excellent dummy to touch down in the corner. Morath converted the try to give Tonga an early 10-0 lead.


The Eagles came back strongly, and flyhalf Nese Malifa got his team on the board with a successful penalty. Tonga then extended their lead to 13-3 as Morath added one of his own penalties.


It was Eagle hooker Chris Biller that sparked an excellent turnover, sending Louis Stanfill on a 40-meter run. From the ensuing ruck, Malifa sent a skip pass to Roland Suniula, who put Emerick over for a great team try. Malifa kicked the sideline conversion, leaving the half time score trailing by 13-10.


The Eagles did have another 10-phase attack, seeing the hard working Scott LaValla almost cross the tryline, but just knocking it on. With Tongan loose-head prop Tonga Lea'aetoa receiving a yellow card for a high tackle, the momentum had swung back to the Eagles late in the first half.


The second period didn't start well for the United States as Iongi scored a well-worked try, converted by Morath. Prop Shawn Pittman then received a yellow card for a high tackle, and the penalty conceded saw Tonga stretch their lead to 23-10. Iongi added another converted try near the 60th minute. The Eagles worked hard, almost replying with one of their own, but could just add another Malifa penalty.  


With both teams emptying their benches, Tonga scored two further tries to close out the match 44-13.


"We conceded some early scores in the second half, with lots of unforced errors. We definitely need more time together as a team. With two games in four days, we now have to pick ourselves up for the final match," said O'Sullivan.


Todd Clever echoed his coach's sentiment saying, "I am extremely disappointed. We couldn't put it together. We just switched off and we were not on the same page - that's partly because we are not together very often. But we have got one game left in the Churchill Cup so hopefully we can re-group and get our attitude right."


The Eagles will play their third and final Churchill Cup match on June 18 at Sixways in Worcester against the third place team from Pool B, which will be decided on Sunday June 12 when Russia takes on Italy A.



15 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby)

14 Colin Hawley (Olympic Club)

13 Paul Emerick (Life University)

12 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)

11 Kevin Swiryn (Agen)

10 Nese Malifa (Glendale)

9 Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC)

1 Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93)

2 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)

3 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh)

4 Louis Stanfill (Mogliano)

5 Scott LaValla (Stade Francais)

6 Inaki Basauri (L'Aquila)

7 Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath) *Captain

8 Nic Johnson (Unattached)



16 Phil Thiel (Life University)

17 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks)

18 John van der Giessen (Utah Warriors)

19 Pat Danahy (Life University)

20 Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club)

21 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)

22 Troy Hall (New York Athletic Club)


USA Tries: Emerick (33') Conversions: Malifa (35') Penalties: Malifa (15', 65')


Substitutions: Thiel on for Biller (47'), Fry on for Basauri - yellow card for Pittman (50'), Basauri on for Fry (57'), van der Giessen on for Basauri (66'), Fry on for Moeakiola (69'), Petri on for Usasz (71'), Enosa on for Emerick (75'), Hall on for Malifa (75'), Danahy on for Stanfill (75').



15 Mateo Malupo
14 Viliami Helu
13 Suka Hufanga
12 Etueni Siua
11 Viliami Iongi
10 Kurt Morath
9 Soane Havea
1 Tonga Lea'aetoa

2 Ilaisa Ma'asi

3 Kisi Pulu *Captain

4 Sione Timani

5 Emosi Kauhenga

6 Pasuka Mapakaitolo

7 Pepa Koloamatangi

8 Vili Ma'afu

16 Atonio Halangahu

17 Ta'u Fainga'anuku

18 Josh Afu

19 Paula Kaho

20 Daniel Morath

21 Edmond Paea

22 Sillivenusi Kauhea Taumoepeaul


Tonga Tries: Iongi (10', 44', 58', 75'), Mapakaitolo (80') Conversions: K Morath (11', 45', 60', 76', 80') Penalties: K Morath (2', 21', 48')


Substitutions: Fainga'anuku on for Koloamatangi - yellow card for Lea'aetoa (29'), Koloamatangi on for Fainga'anuku (39'), Kaho on for Ma'afu (52'), Afu on for Kauhenga (56'), D Morath on for Havea (61'), Fainga'anuku on for Pulu (66'), Paea on for Hufanga (68'), Halangahu on for Ma'asi (75')



June 18, 2011: Elimination Match (Sixways, Worcester)


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Further Information:

Dallen Stanford | USA Eagles Rugby World Cup Media Manager | USA Rugby | | 512-565-5737


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