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Tonga 35-21 Namibia Rugby World Cup: Sea Eagles bounce back to move into second place in Pool C

Published 29/09/2015

EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Jack Ram of Tonga is tackled by Russel Van Wyk (L) of Namibia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Jack Ram of Tonga is tackled by Russel Van Wyk (L) of Namibia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Tonga replacement Opeti Fonua barges through the tackle of Johan Deysel of Namibia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Tinus Du Plessis (R) of Namibia applauds the fans after the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Tonga and Namibia players contest a line-out during the Rugby World Cup match at Sandy Park, Exeter.
Tonga's back row forward Jack Ram (R) runs with the ball to score their second try during the Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park, in Exeter, southwest England on September 29, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Tonga's players celebrate scoring their second try during the Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park, in Exeter, southwest England on September 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSDAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Johan Tromp of Namibia goes over for a try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Tonga's back row forward Jack Ram (L) runs with the ball followed by Tonga's prop Sila Puafisi (R) during the Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park, in Exeter, southwest England on September 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSDAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
Tonga's back row forward Jack Ram holds the ball tight as he goes over to score their second try during the Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park, in Exeter, southwest England on September 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSDAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
Tonga's wing Telusa Veainu (R) struggles with the ball under the tackle from Namibia's lock Tjiuee Uanivi (2R) before going over to score the opening try during the Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park, in Exeter, southwest England on September 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSDAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Jack Ram of Tonga is tackled by Jacques Burger of Namibia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Jack Ram of Tonga is tackled by Jacques Burger of Namibia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Tonga's wing Telusa Veainu (R) struggles with the ball under the tackle from Namibia's lock Tjiuee Uanivi (L) before going over to score the opening try during the Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park, in Exeter, southwest England on September 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, NO USE IN LIVE MATCH TRACKING SERVICES, TO BE USED AS NON-SEQUENTIAL STILLSDAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: The Tongan team perform the Sipi Tau before the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
A fan with her face painted in the colours of Tonga's national flag waits for kick off of the Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Tonga and Namibia at Wembley stadium, north London on September 29, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Namibia players sign their national anthem before the Rugby World Cup match at Sandy Park, Exeter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Tonga. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
Tonga players perform the Sipi Tau before the Rugby World Cup match at Sandy Park, Exeter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Tonga. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Telusa Veainu of Tonga runs at the Namibian defence during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Tonga players perform the Sipi Tau before the Rugby World Cup match at Sandy Park, Exeter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Tonga. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: The Tonga team line up for the national anthems during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Fans walk towards the ground prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: A volunteer hands out Tonga and Namibia flags prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: A volunteer hands out Tonga and Namibia flags prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Fans gather outside the ground prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
A vendor hands out miniature flags for either Tonga or Nambia on the Sandy Park Pesestrian Bridge before the Rugby World Cup match at Sandy Park, Exeter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 29, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Tonga. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
EXETER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: A general view outside the ground prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Tonga and Namibia at Sandy Park on September 29, 2015 in Exeter, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Tonga moved into second place in Pool C with a 35-21 World Cup victory over Namibia in Exeter.

The Sea Eagles' ambitions were seriously dented when they lost their opening game to Georgia 10 days ago in one of the early shocks of the tournament.

But Tonga bounced back from that disappointment by scoring five tries - their most in a World Cup game - to register a bonus-point win and move above Argentina and Georgia in the section.

With group games against Argentina and New Zealand to come, Tonga remain outsiders to make their first World Cup quarter-final, but at least this victory will provide the Pacific Islanders with a dose of confidence for those daunting tests ahead.

Wing Telusa Veainu and flanker Jack Ram both scored twice, and Latiume Fosita once, as Tonga combined some exciting running with their set-piece dominance against the competition's lowest-ranked side.

Namibia's wait for a World Cup win now stands at 16 years and 17 matches since their tournament debut in 1999, but they had the consolation of scoring three tries - two of them from inspirational skipper Jacques Burger - as they came within an ace of their first World Cup point.

Tonga were almost shocked again when Namibia centre Johan Deysel failed to punish an early overlap and the Sea Eagles made the most of their good fortune to score 12 points in as many minutes.

Veainu had been a late replacement for Fetu'u Vainikolo but he made an instant impact when he came in-field to take Fosita's pass and break the Namibian cover defence.

The Rebels wing was hauled down just short of the line after making 40 metres but he rolled over to score and Vunga Lilo added the conversion.

Namibia's tackling was leaving a lot to be desired and it was almost non-existent as Ram raced through unattended from 20 metres after the Tongans had secured clean line-out ball.

It was looking ominous for Namibia, especially with their scrum in such disorder, but a restart charge down ended with wing Russell van Wyk held up inches out before the Tongan line was breached.

Tjuiee Uanivi made good ground after Tonga lost possession and the second-row slipped the ball to wing Trump, who scorched over to the delight of the Sandy Park crowd and provide Theuns Lotze with a simple conversion.

Namibia attempted to put width on the game whenever they could but Tonga's forward supremacy gave them a powerful platform and more quick set-piece ball brought a third try.

Prop Soane Tonga'uiha peeled off the front of a line-out and second-row forwards Hale T-Pole and Joe Tuineau both helped to recycle ball for Fosita, who scored following a smart pick-up off his bootlaces.

Lilo added another penalty for a 22-7 lead but Tonga were denied a bonus point before half-time when the outstretched Veainu put his left hand on the touchline when grounding the ball with his right.

But the fourth try came within five minutes of the restart when Veainu's weaving run punished a sloppy Namibian kick and Ram coasted in for his second try.

Namibia were in danger of being blown away but they were handed a lifeline when Burger was adjudged to have touched down under a pile of bodies and Kotze added the extras from the touchline.

Tonga responded when Veainu burst through again but Namibia were far from finished and found a second wind in the final quarter.

Namibia's forward drove a maul to the Tongan line 12 minutes from time and Burger was again at the bottom of it to claim his second try.

That raised hopes of a sensational Namibia victory, but replacement Kurt Morath eased Tongan fears of lightning striking twice when he became his country's greatest points scorer with a late penalty.

Online Editors

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