Players slam atrocious conditions in Samoa v Tonga rugby test
Tongan players have denounced the decision to allow their Pacific Nations Cup game against Samoa to go ahead in atrocious conditions in Apia.
Samoa won 27-15 at Apia Park on Saturday after Tonga had two players sinbinned.
But Tonga midfielder Cooper Vuna has criticised the conditions, saying no top tier nation would be expected to play on a pitch which degenerated into a muddy morass following torrential rain.
"Please @WorldRugby enlighten us all on what processes you took to allow this game to go ahead," Vuna said on Twitter.
"My question is – if a tier 1 team was to play that day ,would the game still go on?
Please @WorldRugby enlighten us all on what processes you took to allow this game to go ahead? My question is - if a tier 1 team was to play that day ,would the game still go on? #PlayerWelfare https://t.co/TwWkrqkn5N— Cooper Vuna (@CVUNA) July 28, 2019
Tonga's Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi also tweeted his displeasure.
Tonga were dealt a blow before kickoff when captain Nasi Manu – back after a successful battle with testicular cancer - was forced to withdraw from the Pacific Nations Cup tournament due to injury.
Vuna gave the Tongans a 5-0 lead with an early try and burly prop Ben Tameifuna crossed later for a 10-3 halftime lead to the visitors.
Alapati Leiua's try and a conversion and penalty to Ulupano Seuteni got Samoa back to 10-10.
Replacement hooker Sefo Sakalia scored Tonga's third try, but he and team-mate Sione Valianu received yellow cards in the second half, giving Samoa an edge.
Tries to Afaesetiti Amosa and Belgium Tuatagaloa secured Samoa's victory.
In other Pacific Nations Cup matches, champions Fiji lost to Japan, 34-21 in Kamaishi and the United States thrashed Canada 47-19.