Tonga: ‘It’s possible to beat All Blacks’

Tongan coach Mana Otai believes the Ikale Tahi have it in them to beat the Kiwis. Photo: Planet Rugby

Tongan coach Mana Otai believes the Ikale Tahi have it in them to beat the Kiwis. Photo: Planet Rugby

Tonga head coach Mana Otai still firmly believes his men can shock New Zealand when the two sides play tomorrow morning (Friday evening UK time).

The only win for Otai’s side so far has come against Namibia, but they did shock France four years ago and Otai believes that win shows what Tonga are capable of.

“It is possible. We showed that back in 2011 (when Tonga beat France) and it has been seen during this tournament,” Otai said.

“Who would have thought Japan would beat South Africa? France weren’t aware of the threat that we have, yet the All Blacks are.

“The belief is still with us. When we analyse the Georgia game we did a lot better than the scoreline suggested. These guys are so pumped and ready for the game.”

“We have been looking at mental preparation and the small mistakes that we made (against Georgia).

“We will need to minimise those mistake and capitalise on those of our opposition.”

Otai rejected accusations that having played the oldest side on average in this year’s Rugby World Cup, his side were coming to the end of their cycle.

“End of an era? We are only just starting to scratch the surface,” Otai declared.

“This is just the beginning of an era, not the end.

“We have a group that’s not about just themselves, but wanting to inspire our youngsters to come and play for their country.”

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Filed under Rugby World Cup, Tonga

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