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Rugby World Cup 2019, Pool C: USA and Tonga clash in wooden spoon match

122   //    12 Oct 2019, 11:50 IST

France v Tonga - Rugby World Cup 2019: Group C
France v Tonga - Rugby World Cup 2019: Group C

The bragging rights of a sole victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be contested on Sunday when USA and Tonga lock horns at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka.

The weather is expected to be clear with temperatures at a bearable 23 degrees. The playing surface may not be suitably firm as the region has endured heavy rain this week.

Both sides have already been eliminated from the tournament and neither have earned themselves a victory over the 3 matches played.

Currently, Tonga sit in 4th place as they earned themselves a losing bonus point gained from their fiercely fought 23-21 loss to France.

The USA have not yet put a point on the board but did manage to score 3 tries against Argentina.

The winner of this match will finish the Pool in 4th place and avoid taking home the wooden spoon at Japan 2019.

Key Talking Points: USA

  • The Eagles are coming off the back of a tough 4 day turnaround and are expected to make several changes to their starting XV.
  • Despite scoring 3 tries in their previous match against Argentina, the Americans only managed a late consolation effort against England and failed to get the ball over the line against France.
  • The USA have only won 3 of their 25 games at the Rugby World Cup. They will surely see this match as an opportunity to make it 4.

Key Talking Points: Tonga

  • Tonga have started each of their Pool matches slowly, heading into the break in a losing position on all 3 occasions. Notably, they clawed their way back into the game against France with a tremendous effort.
  • Tonga are reported to be preparing their strongest squad for their final game. They will need to hit the ground running in order to put necessary points on the board from the start.
  • Tonga remain the only Pacific Island nation not to have ever progressed from the Pool stages at a Rugby World Cup.