The happiest front row at RWC 2011

2011 – Group Stage

Tonga 19 – France 14

“ Lutui, that little laugh. He is so excited about this!….3’00”

Some have said Japan vs South Africa was the greatest upset in Rugby World Cup history. I say that it doesn’t come close to Tonga’s upset of France at RWC 2011.

Just remember the rugby union playing population of Tonga is 800. I wasn’t able to find out what it is in Japan, but I do know that Japan has a fully professional league with 16 privately owned teams who regularly employ international rugby stars. Also two top domestic leagues, a university league, and a schools league. Probably quite a bit more than Tonga’s 800.

Also, it was interesting to note that South Africa have made eight changes for their match against Samoa. I looked at the SA team for their most recent match against the All Blacks at Ellis park. Of that team, eight were started against the Brave Blossoms.

Of the 15 members of the France team who started in the pool match against Tonga in 2011, 13 started against the All Blacks in the RWC 2011 final.

I don’t want to take anything away from the amazing Japanese effort, but witnessing first-hand the rugby hero that is Aleki Lutui……4’33”

“They’ve completely lost the plot!


Contributed by Dom “The Mallet” Gibbs

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