28 Oct 2022
What are the teams for Tonga v Cook Islands men at the Rugby League World Cup?
Check out the teams for the big clash between Tonga and Cook Islands in Middlesbrough
By Charlie Bennett
Jason Taumalolo is in line for his first Rugby League World Cup 2021 appearance after being named in the Tonga team to face Cook Islands.
The lock missed their first two games through suspension but is cleared to play at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, where the Mate Ma'a will hope to cement their place in the quarter-finals.
Tonga have started the tournament with two straight wins, seeing off Papua New Guinea 24-18 and Wales 32-6, and will reach the knock-out stage if they avoid defeat to Cook Islands.
Cook Islands need to better Papua New Guinea’s result against Wales to stand any chance of progressing.
They are without centre Anthony Gelling, who has returned home for personal reasons.
?? Anthony Gelling received a Pe’e Haka from his Cook Islands teammates at the end of the game.
Tonight was his final outing for his nation.#RLWC2021 #PNGCKI | @AnthonyGelling pic.twitter.com/8FtjNRkZ2Z
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) October 25, 2022
“Anthony been an outstanding servant for Cook Islands rugby league. He’s always put his hand up,” head coach Tony Iro said.
Tonga: 2. Daniel Tupou, 4. Will Penisini, 5. Sione Katoa, 6. Talatau Amone, 7. Tui Lolohea, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho capt, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Keaon Koloamatangi, 13. Jason Taumalolo (capt), 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: 1. Kayal Iro, 2. Paul Ulberg, 4. Esan Marsters, 5. Steve Marsters, 6. Brad Takairangi, 7. Johnathon Ford, 8. Makahesi Makatoa, 9. Aaron Teroi, 10. Tepai Moeroa, 11. Dominique Peyroux, 12. Brendan Piakura, 13. Zane Tetevano, 14. Tevin Arona, 15. Tirinau Arona, 18. Moses Noovao-McGreal, 19. Pride Petterson-Robati, 20. Davvy Moale, 22. Geoff Daniela, 24. Dylan Napa
Tonga have won 10 of their previous 11 matches against the Cook Islands, including each of the last three; they won their only previous match against Cook Islands in the World Cup (22-16 in 2013).
Tonga have won their last four consecutive men’s internationals in England, a streak which began with a 22-16 win over the Cook Islands in November 2013.
Tonga have won both of their matches at the World Cup so far, seeing off Papua New Guinea 24-18 and Wales 32-6.
Cook Islands record
It’s been a mixed start for Cook Islands, who beat Wales 18-12 in their opening game before suffering a 32-116 defeat to Papua New Guinea last time out.
Players to watch
Daniel Tupou (Tonga) has scored six tries in his last seven Tests including two appearances for the Tongan Invitational team in 2019; though, he failed to score a try in his only previous Test against the Cook Islands (November 5, 2013).
Davvy Moale (Cook Islands) crossed in his side’s win over Wales and has been tipped for a bright future by coach Tony Iro, who said of the 19-year-old: “He’s destructive, he’s a good kid, pretty humble and he’ll get better and better.”
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets