RLWC: Tonga put Scotland to the sword
LOOK out Australia, Tonga are ready to steal your World Cup.
Not even William Wallace - nor Peter Wallace or Lachlan Coote - could have saved Scotland from the first-half hammering they copped from Jason Taumalolo and his mates in the Cairns heat.
Michael Jennings had a hat-trick of tries by halftime as the Tongans charged out to a 38-0 lead.
They clocked off for most of the second half with the result already put to bed, and two late tries ensured the whopping 50-4 win.
There is so much to like about this team who are pocketing just $30 a day.
From Taumalolo's barnstorming runs and offloads to Jennings and Tupou's lethal charges down the left wing to big Konrad Hurrell being a nuisance on the other side of the field, Tonga will have their next two opponents - Samoa and New Zealand - looking over their shoulder.
Coach Kristian Woolf would have been relieved his side made such an early statement.
The well-publicised defections of Taumalolo, Manu Ma'u, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and David Fusitu'a, as well as Andrew Fifita from Australia, meant expectations were going to be higher for the tiny Pacific Island.
They could not have asked for a better start as Jennings crossed inside three minutes.
The try was almost as good as their intimidating pre-match cultural challenge.
Taumalolo then shrugged off two Scottish defenders to score next to the posts before Jennings raced in for his second.
You had to feel sorry for the Scots. As if the heat was not bad enough.
If ever you needed proof weight-for-age competitions might also work with the men, Tonga against Scotland was it.
When Jennings scored his third in the 40th minute, Australia's 110-4 record Cup hammering of Russia looked an outside chance of being toppled.
But Tonga struggled to go on with it. Peni Terepo thought he had scored, only for the ball be kicked out as he planted it down.
From there Tonga went through the motions. It was a shame.
Scotland dug in for the fight, and had a try in the 62nd minute when No. 7 Danny Addy threw a dummy and squeezed between Will Hopoate and Sione Katoa for a try.
It was only when Tupou raced 80m for an intercept try the Tongans were back in the game.
Next Saturday's clash against Samoa will be a belter. How good will it be the following week when $10 million man Taumalolo and the Tongans try to embarrass the Kiwis.
Scotland were missing up to ten players because of various injuries and suspensions.
Tonga don't have such problems.
There were a couple of blow-ups. Fifita was told to watch his discipline.
But there was enough there to believe Tonga will push deep into this Cup.
TONGA 50 (M Jennings 3 D Tupou 2 A Hingano S Manu J Taumalolo P Terepo tries S Taukeiaho 6 A Hingano goals) bt SCOTLAND 4 (D Addy try) at Barlow Park. Referee: Phil Bentham. Crowd: 9,216.