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Tonga break Fiji's hearts in Test thriller

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/05/2017 Simone Ziaziaris

A last-gasp try to Leilani Latu has fired Tonga to a gripping 26-24 Test win over Fiji at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night.

Fiji went into the final minutes up 24-20 but had their hearts broken when Tongan hooker Siliva Havili jumped out of dummy half and sent the Penrith forward crashing over.

Warriors veteran Manu Vatuvei steamed through Fiji's defence for the first try in the opening minutes and covered the most meters for his team, making 173 metres.

A hiccup from off-contract Canterbury fullback Will Hopoate on Tonga's tryline gave Fiji a free pass, with captain Kevin Naiqama knocking the ball back to Ben Nakubuwaito to finish off the job.

A successful conversion by Siteveni Morceidreke had Fiji leading 18-14 at halftime.

But Hopoate turned it around in the second half, cleaning up around the posts to prevent two tries.

In his international debut for Tonga, Wests Tigers youngster Moses Suli broke through to send his side ahead 20-18 in the 59th minute.

The one-handed try by the 18-year-old was quickly answered when Tony Williams missed a tackle and left Fiji's Daniel Saifiti with space to score.

It was downhill from there for Williams, who limped off the field with a lower leg injury after a tackle by Korbin Sims seven minutes from fulltime.

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