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Leeds Rhinos signing scores for France as David Fifita shines for Tonga alongside St Helens star

Tonga concluded their World Cup preparations in the best way possible with a comprehensive nine try win over a strong France side.

The French named as strong as a team as you could imagine with the likes of Arthur Mourgue, Tony Gigot and Morgan Escare in the spine and Catalans skipper Ben Garcia at 13.

Tonga could have named a stronger side and had three Super League players who didn’t make the full 24-man World Cup squad on the bench in Albert Vete, Agnatius Paasi and Major Fonua.

Despite this, Tonga produced a strong first 40 minutes leading 16-6 at the break. Second row David Fifita, who has come under criticism at Gold Coast this year, was brilliant with two tries & Christian Tu’ipulotu got the other.

France’s try came via Justin Sangare. The young powerful prop is Leeds bound and he powered over Tonga captain Sio Siua Taukeiaho to score. He headed to Catalans in 2023.

Nonetheless, Tonga were even more in control in the second half scoring six tries the first of which came from Konrad Hurrell in the 44th minute.

After a try for France, Fifita completed his hat trick before Toluta’u Koula made it 34-12.

Tonga then ran in three tries in the lay six minutes as Koula got a second to make it 48-12 as they made a statement ahead of the World Cup.

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