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Tonga qualifies for Rugby World Cup 2019

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    Posted: 17-Jul-2017 at 8:32am
Tonga have qualified for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan after finishing second to Fiji in the combined 2016-17 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup standings.

With Samoa failing to secure a bonus point in a 38-16 defeat to Fiji in the final match in Apia on Saturday, Tonga qualify for rugby’s showcase event as Oceania 2 and complete the Pool C line-up, joining England, France, Argentina and USA.

Samoa now face the prospect of a play-off against the winner of Czech Republic or Portugal versus the second-place team in the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship (excluding Georgia, who have already qualified) for a place in Pool A at Japan 2019.

Fiji, who last week booked their place at Rugby World Cup 2019, produced a fine performance to comfortably win a highly-entertaining match in Apia despite trailing 16-14 at the interval.

Henry Seniloli’s hat-trick, combined with tries from Jale Vatatuba and Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, secured a win that ensured that Fiji retained the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, a title they have held since 2015.

David Lemi, making his 50th international appearance for Samoa, was the home side’s only try scorer with a scintillating first-half finish.
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