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A crowd of 10,143 Rugby League supporters turned out in wet and cold conditions to watch Mate Ma'a Tonga defeat Toa Samoa 36 points to four at Centrebet Stadium tonight (Saturday).

The Tongans defeated their Samoan opponents for the first time since 2006, scoring seven tries to one in a dominant performance, particularly from their halves and outside backs.

Rabbitohs front rowers playing for Samoa, Jeff Lima and Roy Asotasi, took the opening hit ups of this emotional and exciting Test match, setting the platform for some big hits in attack and defence in the opening exchanges.

The Tongans shot out to a 10-nil lead after 11 minutes with tries to Samsoni Langi and Siuatonga Likiliki.

The Samoans responded with centre Junior Sa'u being denied a try by the referee in the 24th minute, before Daniel Vidot crossed in the left hand corner following a perfect Carlos Tuimavave cut out pass, taking the score line to 10-4 after 28 minutes.

Both sides were throwing everything they had at each other, which sometimes led to the odd handling error, but in the majority it led to some exciting, free-flowing football.

Both teams had attacking opportunities deep in each others halves, but neither could post any more points in the first 40 minutes, with the scoreboard showing ten points to four in favour of the Tongans at half time.

The Tongans struck straight away in the second half with Likiliki scoring his second try in the 42nd minute. The Tongans went the length of the field in two plays to score their third try, taking the score line to 14-4 in favour of the team in red.

The Samoans were controlling the ball well in the second half, but the Tongan counter-attack was causing the Samoans all sorts of problems.

Tonga scored again in the 59th minute when right winger Etu Uaisele cut back inside to score on the right hand side. Samsoni Langi converted, taking the scores to 22-4 in favour of Tonga.

Tonga mounted another attack with Mahe Fonua carving open the Samoan right side defence to score in the 63rd minute of play. Langi's conversion took the score out to 26-4 with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Samsoni Langi topped a fantastic performance with his second try in the 73rd minute of play, slicing through the line to the left of the posts. While numerous Tongan supporters invaded the field of play to celebrate their team's performance up to this point of the match, Langi converted his own try to extend the lead to 32-4 in favour of Tonga.

Mahe Fonua put the icing on the cake in the 79th minute with his second try in the left hand corner, and before Langi could attempt the conversion, the referee blew full time with 40 seconds left on the clock as fans flooded the field to celebrate the Tongan victory.

Mate Ma'a Tonga 36 (Samsoni Langi 2, Siuatonga Likiliki 2, Mahe Fonua 2, Etu Uaisele tries; Samsoni Langi 4 goals)


Toa Samoa 4 (Daniel Vidot try)
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South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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