2023 England v Tonga Internationals

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40 nil

It's only a game ...
England is hosting Tonga for a three match international series for the first time. Game One is today 22 October with Game Two on 28 October & Game Three on 4 November. In the Tongan side, there are two current Sea Eagles, Koula & Olakau'atu, and two former Sea Eagles, Latu Fainu & Suli. I don't know how the games can be watched in Australia - maybe on Fox. I am in India, so the games are on at a reasonable time, 7 pm or 8 pm. I also don't know how I can watch - maybe on BBC Player.


It's interesting that there is only one specialist winger, Tupou, in the Tonga squad. At this stage, he is in the reserves list for today's game. It is difficult to predict the final team. In the 17, there are 8 backs, including 4 centres, 3 halves & 1 fullback (Koula). Maybe Tupou will be promoted & a player like Suli, Lolohea, Hurrell or Fainu will be selected as 14?

The forwards could possibly be
8. AFB
9. Havili
10. Fotuaika
11. Kolamatangi
12. Kaufusi
13. Frizell
14.?
15. Olakau'atu
16. Eliesa Katoa
17. Sele

Tonga.jpg
 

The '47ers

When Eagles are silent Parrots begin to chatter
England is hosting Tonga for a three match international series for the first time. Game One is today 22 October with Game Two on 28 October & Game Three on 4 November. In the Tongan side, there are two current Sea Eagles, Koula & Olakau'atu, and two former Sea Eagles, Latu Fainu & Suli. I don't know how the games can be watched in Australia - maybe on Fox. I am in India, so the games are on at a reasonable time, 7 pm or 8 pm. I also don't know how I can watch - maybe on BBC Player.


It's interesting that there is only one specialist winger, Tupou, in the Tonga squad. At this stage, he is in the reserves list for today's game. It is difficult to predict the final team. In the 17, there are 8 backs, including 4 centres, 3 halves & 1 fullback (Koula). Maybe Tupou will be promoted & a player like Suli, Lolohea, Hurrell or Fainu will be selected as 14?

The forwards could possibly be
8. AFB
9. Havili
10. Fotuaika
11. Kolamatangi
12. Kaufusi
13. Frizell
14.?
15. Olakau'atu
16. Eliesa Katoa
17. Sele

View attachment 25398
AFB on a wing 🤔 interesting hahaha.
 

40 nil

It's only a game ...
Koula's in the second row 😆

Clearly someone's screwed up the presentation of the team list
Obviously, it's not the final team list. The jersey numbers for both teams are according to alphabetical order of player's names. This is the same confusing system Australia used in the 2022 WC. Looks odd that Fainu (F) is the first name in alphabetical order.
 

Uk eagle

Bencher
England is hosting Tonga for a three match international series for the first time. Game One is today 22 October with Game Two on 28 October & Game Three on 4 November. In the Tongan side, there are two current Sea Eagles, Koula & Olakau'atu, and two former Sea Eagles, Latu Fainu & Suli. I don't know how the games can be watched in Australia - maybe on Fox. I am in India, so the games are on at a reasonable time, 7 pm or 8 pm. I also don't know how I can watch - maybe on BBC Player.


It's interesting that there is only one specialist winger, Tupou, in the Tonga squad. At this stage, he is in the reserves list for today's game. It is difficult to predict the final team. In the 17, there are 8 backs, including 4 centres, 3 halves & 1 fullback (Koula). Maybe Tupou will be promoted & a player like Suli, Lolohea, Hurrell or Fainu will be selected as 14?

The forwards could possibly be
8. AFB
9. Havili
10. Fotuaika
11. Kolamatangi
12. Kaufusi
13. Frizell
14.?
15. Olakau'atu
16. Eliesa Katoa
17. Sele

View attachment 25398
The games are being shown live on the BBC over here, I'm not sure if that means you can access it via the BBC iPlayer overseas but I don't know why not
 

40 nil

It's only a game ...
England deserved to win 22-18. However, the difference in the scores was a Tongan dropped ball which was pounced on for a try by the English winger.

Haumole replaced Frizell on the left edge & didn't make his usual impact till the last 15 minutes. AFB was massive, Koula played well & Hopoate was safe at the back - took some very difficult bombs under pressure. I think Tonga need more speed in the middle of the ruck - Fainu could provide this if selected at 14 next game.
 
Last edited:

SeaEagleSI1

Reserve Grader
Koula

17 runs

153 meters

1 try

49 post contact

1 line break

5 tackle breaks

1 tackle

1 miss

2 errors

Hamolue

28 mins

8 runs

67 meters

30 post contact

4 tackle breaks

2.92 play the ball speed

12 tackle

0 miss
 
Last edited:

Highflier

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Yes I think Tonga stuffed up a bit there ,with Hoppa at 1 , (hoppa has good hands and his safe under the high ball , but I think he is a bit slow at 1 ) Koula played at 1 last year and nailed it ,also Hamoule spent to much time on the bench .Also they favoured going down their right edge all the time and Koula appeared to barely get the ball on the left ,untill it was too late.
Hard ball to take by Suli at the end (not impossible but hard)
Anyways good game ,and Ill be cheering for Tonga ,Koula and Hamoule and AFB and Moses next week
 

40 nil

It's only a game ...
Olakau'atu will start in the second test tomorrow with Koloamatangi moving to the bench. Also Tatola starts with Fotuaika moving to the bench and Junior Tupou replaces Starford To'a on the wing. Latu Fainu is not listed. Maybe Koula will swap to right wing to play outside Olakau'atu. Tupou usually plays left wing for the Tigers.

 

SeaEagleSI1

Reserve Grader
Koula

1 try

22 runs

200 meters

75 post contact meters

1 line break

8 tackle breaks

1 offload

4 tackles

2 miss tackles

3 errors


Olakautau

69 mins

16 runs

161 meters

91 post contact meters

5 tackle breaks

23 tackles

3 miss tackles
 

HoldenV8

Journey Man
Sorry but I can not agree with Kristian Wolff's selections.

Will Hopoate is slower than a wet week and so far all series has been a liability at fullback. At best he should have been in the centres.

Tolu Koula, despite having scored a try in each test, has been wasted on the wing. Seriously, they have arguably the single fastest rugby league player currently on British soil, and most of their attack this series has been directed towards Junior Tupou on the left wing.

I know Koula's best senior games at fullback were against the 2 teams anchored to the bottom of the NRL ladder for the past 3–4 years, but he should be the first choice Tongan fullback. His pace is a weapon that they have failed to use to their advantage.
 

40 nil

It's only a game ...
I know Koula's best senior games at fullback were against the 2 teams anchored to the bottom of the NRL ladder for the past 3–4 years, but he should be the first choice Tongan fullback. His pace is a weapon that they have failed to use to their advantage.
I agree. Koula played every game at fullback in last year's WC & has developed as an attacking player since then. The Haumole-Koula combination could have been dynamite, but Wolff chose to ignore it. I only saw a small part of yesterday's game, but it appeared Tonga's attack was very clunky. It would have been better to play Hopoate as a defensive centre with Suli on the wing (have always thought Suli could be most potent as a power winger rather than a centre). Hopefully, Latu gets an opportunity off the bench in game three.
 

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