WATCH: France grabs a narrow 23-21 victory over Tonga in RWC 2019 2 years ago

WATCH: France grabs a narrow 23-21 victory over Tonga in RWC 2019

France faced off against Tonga in Kumamoto for a chance to make the quarterfinals.

Tonga came into the game off a loss against Argentina whereas France beat the USA to sit second in the group behind England. Victory for France today would secure them a place in the quarterfinals alongside the English.


France 23 - 21 Tonga: Watch highlights below

The game kicked off and three minutes in and Tonga conceded a penalty; Romain Ntamack stepped up and added three points for the French with a clean strike.

A few minutes later and France were celebrating their first try of the game as Virimi Vakatawa scored following an inside pass from Alivereti Raka. Ntamack added the conversion as the French pulled a 10 point lead.

Over half an hour into the game and France grabbed a converted try after Raka was fed the ball by Baptiste Serin before touching down for five points. Ntamack converted for a 17-0 scoreline.

39 minutes in and Sonatane Takulua's try was reviewed after doubts that he lost contact with the ball before grounding it; but the review found otherwise and Tonga got a hand in the tie with seconds to go till halftime. The added conversion produced a score of 17-7 as halftime arrived.


The second half began and seven minutes in, things took an interesting turn after Malietoa Hingano collected the ball off a bounce before shrugging off French players to cross the line. Takulua converted to bring Tonga within three points of the French. 17-14 it stood to France.

Tonga had started the second half the better of the two teams and their efforts were rewarded. However, in the 52nd minute they conceded a penalty and Ntamack sent the ball through the posts with an ice cool kick.

59 minutes in and France were handed another penalty and once again, Ntamack did his thing to push Les Blues nine points clear of the Tongans.

As the game built up to a tense finale, it remained to be seen if France could secure the win or Tonga would mount a fightback.


And then, in the 79th minute, Tonga set off the crowd after Zane Kapeli touched down in the corner. Latiume Fosita converted to bring the Tongans within two points of the French for a score of 23-21. A comeback might've have arrived but alas, the clock had other ideas and just seconds later fulltime arrived, bringing an end to a resoundingly entertaining affair.

And so it finished at Kumamoto.

France held on against the Tongan fightback to clinch a place in the quarterfinals, becoming the second nation behind England to do so. Tonga meanwhile were found lacking in their finishing but deserve massive kudos for clawing their way back into the contest; they face the USA next before ending their tournament.