14-man Tonga return to winning ways against hapless Canada in Nuku’alofa

Tonga overcame a second-half red card for George Moala to clinch a 28-3 victory against Canada in the first of two Rugby World Cup warm-up matches for the Pacific Islanders in Nuku’alofa on Thursday.

It was a much improved performance from the home side – who finished winless and at the bottom of the table during the recent Pacific Nations Cup – as they dominated for long periods and eventually outscored their opponents by four tries to none.

Hard running number eight Sione Vailanu led the way with a brace of five-pointers for the Ikale Tahi while Sam Moli (hooker) and Sonatane Takulua (captain and scrum-half) also crossed the whitewash.

Takulua also succeeded with four conversions which meant he finished with a 13-point haul.

It was a tough day at the office for the North Americans, who will not be participating at the global showpiece for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1987, and their only points came via the boot of Peter Nelson.