Tonga were too big and fast for a gallant Korean side, easily winning the World Cup qualifying match played in west Auckland today 83-3.
Tonga took control of the game, played in glorious hot conditions at Waitemata Park, right from the kick off.
Tonga’s massive height advantage was put to good use and Korea struggled to defend against explosive runners like lock Teu’imuli Kaufusi, full back Vungakoto Lilo and centre Hudson Tonga’uiha.
Tonga’uiha, fly half Fangatapu Apikotoa and wingers Vaea Poteki and Sione Fonua all scored twice out of 13 entertaining tries dotted down by the Tongans.
The excellent crowd of 2,800 basked in the summer heat and provided an atmosphere to match the temperatures.
The sight of Tongan and Korean fans mixed together on the embankment made for a stirring sight, with flags and national dress symbolising the international flavour of rugby union.
Korea had their moments in the scrums and tried hard but their supporters were the clear winners on the sideline with horns, drums and symbols drowning out the Tongan counterparts.
The Webb Ellis Cup was on display throughout the game and received a rousing response when paraded around the ground at halftime.
Vice-Chairman of the IRB Mr Bob Tuckey greeted both captains on the pitch before the game, and enjoyed the spectacle and excellent spirit the game was played in.
Tonga now join England, South Africa, Samoa and USA in Pool A at Rugby World Cup 2007 in France later this year.
Tonga 83 (S Fonua 2, V Poteki 2, H Tonga’uiha 2, F Apikotoa 2, H T.Pole, T Kaufusi, V Lilo, H Paea, S Kalamafoni tries; F Apikotoa 10 cons) beat Korea 3 (Jun-Ki Hong pen).
Conditions: Hot and sunny, pitch hard and fast.
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