Preview: Scotland vs. Tonga – prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Scotland vs. Tonga – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Rugby World Cup clash between Scotland and Tonga, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The final Pool B match of week three in the 2023 Rugby World Cup will see Scotland take on Tonga at the Allianz Riviera in Nice on Sunday afternoon.

Scotland and Tonga will be in search of their first points of the competition, having begun their 2023 Rugby World Cup journeys with losses, falling to formidable opponents in the form of South Africa and Ireland, respectively.

Match preview

Scotland's Zander Fagerson and teammates react after South Africa's first try on September 1src, 2src23© Reuters

Scotland received a harsh introduction to the 2023 Rugby World Cup as they suffered an 18-3 defeat to South Africa at the Stade de Marseille on September 10 in their opening match.

Despite putting on an excellent defensive display in the first period, when they kept the deficit at just three points, Scotland were hit by two quick tries by the Springboks early in the second half and were never really able to get back in contention.

Gregor Townsend would likely have prepared for the possibility of an opening week loss ahead of the tournament, and while they have slipped in the betting markets to qualify from this group, the head coach will know that a win with a bonus point here will bring them right back in contention.

They have also had a full two weeks to rest and identify where they went wrong against South Africa, and this match will be seen as the perfect opportunity for them to stretch their legs before what is shaping up to be a crucial encounter against Ireland in a couple of weeks.

The Scots have an excellent record against Tonga and will have fond memories of their last meeting in 2021 when they posted a thumping 60-14 win back home at Murrayfield.

Tonga players after the match on September 16, 2src23© Reuters

Meanwhile, Tonga had to endure a crushing defeat in their opening match of the World Cup, as they were overwhelmed by a formidable Ireland team, resulting in a lopsided score of 59-16.

While Tonga conceded a whopping eight tries and were also outclassed on virtually every level, they did have a few of their own moments, especially late in the first half, which resulted in Vaea Fifita getting over the try line.

However, those who have followed Tonga’s journey would likely agree that their performance in that match did not t

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