Ruthless Australia beat Tonga in historic Test

20 October 2018 11:42

Valentine Holmes and Tom Trbojevic scored first-half doubles as Australia beat Tonga 34-16 in an historic Test at a sold-out Mt Smart Stadium.

New Zealand consigned the world champions to their first defeat under Mal Meninga last weekend, but normal service was resumed in their first-ever encounter against Tonga.

Tevita Pangai Junior, former Australia international Daniel Tupou and Solomone Kata all went over for Tonga but it was not enough.

Australia were more clinical in attack and resolute in defence, dominating the first half to go into the break with a 30-10 lead following two tries apiece for Holmes and Trbojevic after an early Daly Cherry-Evans four-pointer.

James Tedesco added a sixth try for Australia and wing Holmes also booted 10 points to take his tally on the night to 18.

Cherry-Evans capitalised on a loose pass to give Australia an early lead, scooping the ball up in a flash and racing away to go under the posts just five minutes in. 

Trbojevic added a second five minutes later, showing a rapid turn of pace to finish following an incisive break from the excellent Tedesco, Holmes converting for a second time.

Pangai Junior raised the roof when he scampered through a gap in the Australia defence to get Tonga on the board, but Holmes dropped the shoulder and darted inside to cross for another classy try at the other end.

Trbojevic exchanged passes with Dane Gagai before rounding off a brilliant move as the Kangaroos turned on the style and Holmes claimed a 14th try in his last five Tests after Tupou dotted down late in a frenetic first half.

Pangai Junior was placed on report for making contact with Holmes' head as he applied the finish, the wing failing to make it an eight-point try when he missed a conversion attempt from wide on the left but made no mistake from in front of the posts.

Tonga enjoyed more possession in the second half and Kata came up with their third try, but a fightback was never on the cards. 

Tedesco threw a dummy and slid over for a deserved try to round off the scoring, both teams appearing to run out of steam after a frantic first half.


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