There’s an argument to be made that Scotland have the potential to win every RWC 2023 group, bar the one they had the misfortune of being drawn into. As things are, in order to even stand a chance of progressing to the knockouts from Pool B, they’re going to have to be perfect from here on in – and that starts right now.
Having failed to register a single try in their nightmare opening clash with the reigning champions, Scotland are looking to belatedly get off the mark against Tonga at Allianz Riviera today. And Gregor Townsend’s men will more than fancy their chances, having seen the Sea Eagles concede eight to Ireland last week.
The Scots started well against South Africa but completely crumbled after the interval, and the two-week break afforded to them will have been appreciated by all after a bruising encounter. Lineouts were a real issue for Scotland throughout, and Tonga, who are no less physical than the Springboks, will sense an area of weakness.
With four former All Black internationals in their team, Tonga aren’t here to make up the numbers, and Toutai Kefu will be calling on his men to channel the spirit of 2012, when the Scots were stunned by the Pacific Islands nation on home turf.
Scotland team: Blair Kinghorn; Kyle Steyn, Chris Harris, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ben White; Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Scott Cummings; Jamie Ritchie (c), Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey
Tonga team: Salesi Piutau; Solomone Kata, Malakai Fekitoa, Pita Ahki, Afusipa Taumoepeau; William Havili, Augustine Pulu; Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Paula Ngauamo, Ben Tameifuna (c); Halaleva Fifita, Sam Lousi; Tanginoa Halaifonua, Sione Talitui, Vaea Fifita
SCOTLAND VS TONGA LIVE STREAM, DATE, TIME, CHANNELS
- Date: Today (Sunday, Sep. 24)
- Time: 4:45 p.m. BST / 11:45 a.m. ET / 8:45 a.m. PT / 1:45 a.m. AEST (Sep. 25)
- U.K. — ITVX (FREE STREAM)
- AUS — Stan Sport (FREE TRIAL)
- U.S. — Peacock / CNBC
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