Scotland vs Tonga Preview

The Braveheart's take on the strongest Tongan team sheet i have ever seen, at Barlow Park. People have talked about their excitement leading up to this game, not because of the fixture itself, but to see how this quality packed Tongan side performs as a unit. Scotland bring classy player's of their own, such as, Matty Russel, who scored the wonder try against England in The Four Nations.  Lewis Tierney, who has recaptured his form while on loan at Catalan and Scotland's captain Danny Brough, who brings a great kicking game to the field.

Tonga: For a side packed with so much quality it is really difficult to pinpoint key players, but I have gone with; Jason Taumololo, Andrew Fifita and Tui Lolohea. Taumololo is this easiest choice of the three, he is the NRL's biggest metre maker and first forward to break 5000 ball carrying metres in a season, making him the complete attacking package. Andrew Fifita is a dangerous runner of the ball, he has great footwork for a big man and fantastic offload ability, origin 1 highlighted just how influential he can be, the attacking dynamic of the pack shifts so much with him on the field as he uses short bursts of pace to create space for his teammates. Lolohea didn't have the best of seasons last year, but he did show glimpses of his true potential towards the end of the season, but surrounded by players with low morale, whatever you do will never be enough. In a fired up motivated Tongan with keen, enthusiastic, high energy players he could be the creative mind behind a very competitive Tongan side.

Scotland: Scotland come into the World Cup with confidence, their last game an 18 a piece draw against New Zealand in Workington. With this on their mind Scotland will truly believe that anything is possible, especially a World Cup opener upset, Scotland bring passion and heart to the table, aware that on paper they face a team of better quality. This will not disparage The Braveheart's from trying to fight their way out of the correctly named "Group Of Death". They face sides in this group that are bigger and stronger than them, but they will not go down without a fight, this tenacious outfit brings their own big guns. Luke Douglas, this is his first game back in Aus since leaving The Titans. Sam Brooks, Currently playing in the championship with Featherstone, has shown he is capable of being a handful and causing trouble in attack. If Scotland want a shot at winning this game, defence is going to be the key, if they can force Tonga to have to move the ball around instead of allowing them to send forward after forward through their line, they will stand a much better chance.

Conclusion: As much as i would like to play the optimist for this game, it seems Tonga just have too much fire power, they have options all over the field that could bust this game wide open. I just don't think Scotland have the attacking depth right now to be able to claw back the inevitable points that will be scored. Overall i predict that Tonga have this by 30 points or more.



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