Rugby league: Tonga shock Australia in Auckland

Tonga confirmed their arrival as a force in rugby league with a stunning 16-12 win over world champions Australia.

Rugby league: Tonga shock Australia in Auckland

Tonga confirmed their arrival as a force in rugby league with a stunning 16-12 win over world champions Australia.

The Pacific Islanders, playing as a Tongan Invitational XIII due to a legal wrangle, followed up their 14-6 win over Great Britain a week earlier in Hamilton by claiming the prized scalp of the Kangaroos in the Oceania Cup in Auckland.

The results are proof, if it was needed, that Tonga’s impressive run in the 2017 World Cup in which they beat New Zealand was no fluke as they made history in front of their adoring fans among a 25,275 crowd that turned Eden Park into a sea of red.

It had been 41 years since Australia had been beaten by another country other than New Zealand -and that was France back in 1978.

The architect of Tonga’s shock victory was Salford stand-off Tui Lolohea and there were notable contributions from Leeds centre Konrad Hurrell and Warrington second rower Ben Murdoch-Masila.

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