Ikale Tahi to work on lifting fitness levels

The Tonga coach Toutai Kefu said lifting general fitness levels was his biggest takeaway from the Ikale Tahi's 41-7 drubbing at the hands of Japan.

It was a much better playing surface this time than the mud-bath Tonga endured in their loss to Samoa at Apia Park but Japan, sporting at least five Tongans of their own, showed their world cup preparations were well on track outclassing the Ikale Tahi in both attack and defence.

Despite the scoreline however Toutai Kefu said there were some positives he thought the team could build on.

"There were some bright spots. I thought Fotu Lokotui played well. I thought Leva Fifita continued on with his good form. And we got some really good help off the bench. I thought Zane Kapeli that came on did really well as well," Toutai Kefu said.

"So, there was certainly some bright spots there. I thought backs in general probably didn't have the best day at the office, but you know a lot of things to work on and keep improving."

And one of the first things the coach said he was keen to work on, is fitness, especially building up to their World Cup opener against England in September.

"The biggest work-on for us that we have identified is our mobility and our fitness so that is one thing. We have got to, we have worked hard on and even in the games we have worked hard on that as well by pushing ourselves," Toutai Kefu said.

"We have still got a fair way to go. We are getting fitter every week...we have still got another six weeks in camp together and we will use those six weeks to keep working on our mobility and our speed."

Tonga will take on Canada in Lautoka on Friday in the final round of the Pacific Nations Cup.

On Saturday Japan and the USA play their virtual title match at ANZ Stadium in Suva followed by Fiji against Samoa at the same venue.


Photo source Oceania Rugby