Tonga beat Romania to finish World Cup campaign with a flourish

Solomone Kata scores a try for Tonga v Romania at 2023 Rugby World Cup Pita Ahki scored one of Tonga's seven tries against Romania (Mike Egerton/PA)

Tonga beat Romania 45-24 in the final Pool B game at the World Cup.

The teams came into the Lille clash without a point between them but the Pacific Islanders finished strongly to ensure they exited the competition with a win.

Although Alin Conache missed an early penalty for Romania, Tonga started with purpose and were rewarded through tries from Solomone Kata and George Moala, the latter of which was converted by William Havili.

Conache kicked a penalty to make it 14-3 to Tonga after 20 minutes but Afusipa Taumoepeau went over soon after and Havili again converted.

However, Romania scored a try of their own in the 31st minute when Cristi Boboc touched down after a well worked line-out. Conache converted to reduce the deficit to 11 points.

After Tonga’s Leva Fifita was shown yellow for a shoulder charge, Romania used the extra man to score again.

Florin Surugiu, in his last international game before retiring, broke away after a scrum and evaded the defenders to cross the whitewash. Conache again converted and the deficit was just four points.

Ten minutes after the turnaround Tonga had breathing space when Sione Vailanu’s try was converted by Havili.

However, battling Romania responded well with a try from Marius Simionescu. Conache again added the extras and the gap was down to four points again.

That was as good as it got for them though, as Pita Ahki crossed for a try which Havili again converted with 18 minutes remaining.

Four minutes later Kata had his second try and, after Conache had been sin-binned, Kyren Taumoefolau got Tonga’s seventh try to round off the scoring in an entertaining contest.

Tonga v Romania - Match Highlights

Tonga v Romania - Match Stats

Tonga (21) 45
Try: Kata (11', 66'), Moala (15'), Taumoepeau (22'), Vailanu (49'), Ahki (62'), Taumoefolau (71')
Conversion: Havili (13', 17', 23', 51', 63')

Romania (17) 24
Try: Boboc (30'), Surugiu (36'), Simionescu (55')
Conversion: Conache (32', 37', 57')
Penalty: Conache (19')

Man of the match: George Moala (Tonga)

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