Samoa 18-32 Tonga: Sea Eagles book quarter-final place
By Ben Proe
Last Updated: 04/11/17 1:30pm
Michael Jennings crossed for a first-half double, as Tonga resisted a late Samoan comeback to book their quarter-final place with a 32-18 victory over their Pacific neighbours.
It took just 10 minutes for Jennings to carry on where he'd left off after an opening hat-trick against Scotland - but Samoa hit back inside seven through New Zealand Warriors loose-forward Jazz Tevaga, and it took a Sio Siua Taukeiaho penalty to put Frank Pritchard's men back in front; an advantage they had extended within 60 seconds courtesy of Jennings' second; Taukeiaho's third goal made it 14-6 Tonga at the interval.
A seven-minute double then appeared to put Kristian Woolf's men in control at 26-6 on the hour, Parramatta forward Peni Terepo followed over the line by Warrington-bound Ben Murdoch-Masila - but one-time Salford coach Matt Parish had other ideas, his side scoring twice themselves through Castleford's Ben Roberts and St George-Illawarra centre Timoteo Lafai, to cut the gap to eight.
A late Manu Ma'u effort, though, sealed a win which puts the Samoans out of the World Cup.
Kristian Woolf's side now head for Hamilton on Saturday for a huge clash against the Kiwis - with top spot in Group B up for grabs.