RLWC2021 – Tonga v Cook Islands: Team news, how to watch on TV & predictions

Josh McAllister
Tonga v Cook Islands

Everything you need to know – Tonga v Cook Islands.

It’s a huge task ahead, but Cook Islands may need to get the victory over Tonga to secure a place in the quarter-finals. Papua New Guinea face Wales the following day, with the Kumuls going into the game as massive favourites.

Tonga already have four points having won their two first games against PNG and Wales respectively, and look safe for a place in the quarter-finals.

Match details

  • Tonga v Cook Islands
  • Date: Sunday 30 October
  • Kick-off time: 2:30pm
  • Venue:  Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
  • Group D

Tonga v Cook Islands team news

Tonga 19-man squad: 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Will Penisini, 5. Sione Katoa, 6. Talatau Amone, 7. Tui Lolohea, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Keaon Koloamatangi, 13. Jason Taumalolo, 14. Soni Luke, 16. Tevita Tatola, 17. Moeaki Fotuaika, 18. David Fifita, 19. Mosese Suli, 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 22. Tesi Niu, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 24. Isaiya Katoa.

Cook Islands 19-man squad: 1. Kayal Iro, 2. Paul Ulberg, 4. Esan Marsters, 5. Steve Marsters, 6. Brad Takairangi, 7. Johnathan Ford, 8. Makahesi Makatoa, 9. Aaron Teroi, 10. Tepai Moeroa, 11. Dom Peyroux, 12. Brendan Piakura, 13. Zane Tetevano, 14. Tevin Arona, 15. Tinirau Arona, 18. Moses Noovao-McGreal, 19. Pride Petterson-Robati, 20. Davvy Moale, 22 Geoff Daniela, 24. Dylan Napa.

What the two camps are saying

Speaking of his side’s support so far, Tonga head coach Kristian Woolf told Love Rugby League: “It’s outstanding to see the number of people who have come from America, New Zealand and Australia. 

“Some people have made a real commitment to come over and support this team. 

“If we were in New Zealand of Australia, you know it’s a full house, that’s what our fans are like. But it’s outstanding that they’ve made such an effort to get over here and show their support. It’s certainly not lost on any of us.” 

Cook Islands boss Tony Iro said: “I think we have the squad to do it (reach quarter-finals). 

“I think realistically there could be six sides that could go close to winning it. Hopefully, a few sides like ourselves can upset a few along the way.”

How can I watch the game on TV?

Every game across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cup tournaments is being broadcast by the BBC.

Tonga v Cook Islands is on BBC iPlayer, Red Button & BBC Sport Online.

READ: How to watch every Rugby League World Cup game on the BBC

Odds and predictions

Tonga head into the game as massive favourites, as expected, with Planet Sport Bet at 1/80. Cook Islands are 14/1 to claim the win in Middlesbrough, with a draw priced at 40/1.

Tonga have a long way to go if they are to be serious contenders for this year’s World Cup – but I’d expect them to pick up the win here and remain unbeaten in the group stages.

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