Cumbrians Edge Tongans In Awful Conditions

Tonga rested several players ahead of Sunday's Federation Shield clash with England but were still boosted by experience pro's Feleti Mateo, Fui Fui Moi Moi and Richard Fa'aoso.

Cumbria opened the scoring when Whitehaven's Carl Rudd kicked a penalty goal in the opening minutes. Cumbria also scored the opening try of the match when Derry Eilbeck kick through held up in a puddle and Wingman Matt Gardner dropped on the loose ball.

Tonga got themselves on the scoresheet when Paula Koloi scored after Tonga created an overlap out left which drew in Garnder. Mateo converted from the touchline, 8-6.

It was the Cumbrians who hit next Carl Sice splashing his way over following a neat grubber kick from Carl Rudd. Rudd converted and the hosts led 14-6.

Three minutes later it was Carl Rudd who was again the creator when his kick over the top was caught by Craig Calvert who appeared to stand in touch but the flag stayed down and Calvert cut inside the Tonga winger to score. Rudd again converted, 20-6.

Tonga scored just before the interval to give themselves some hope when ex London Bronco Feleti Mateo dummied his way over following weak tackling. Mateo converted for 20-12 which was the half time score.

The visitors’ final try of the game came in the opening minutes of the second half and it was a neat handling move that saw Semisi Cocker go over for Tonga.

Cumbria scored their final try of the game in the 52nd minute when Howard Hill went through and put Barrow half back Liam Finch under the sticks.

The rest of the game was played out at a pretty low pace with both sides trading knock on after knock on. The final action of the match saw Carl Rudd convert a 42 yard penalty.

On a dreadful West Cumbrian evening the hooter sounded and the Cumbrians picked up their second successive scalp following last year's 70 point thrashing of Ireland.

Cumbria

1 Martyn Wilson, 2 Craig Calvert, 3 Derry Eilbeck, 4 Liam Harrison, 5 Matt Gardner, 6 Carl Rudd, 7 Liam Finch, 8 Marc Jackson, 9 Graeme Mattinson, 10 Dean Vaughan, 11 Mike Whitehead, 12 Brett McDermott, 13 Scott McAvoy.

Subs 14 Carl Sice, 15 Dean Burgess, 16 Jamie Beaumont, 17 Howard Hill

Tonga

1 John Sinisa, 2 Maka Richer, 3 Saia Makisi, 4 David Pangai, 5 Paula Koloi, 6 Feleti Mateo, 7 Simi Foliaki, 8 Semisi Cocker, 9 Taufa Fukofuka, 10 Sam Moa, 11 Joe Falemaka, 12 Fuifui Moimoi, 13 Richard Faaoso

Subs 14 Lee Hansen, 15 James Kingi, 16 Mirsat Halepio, 17 Taulupe Liku

Attendance 1,639

 Match Report by Recregoer

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