July 5 1975

Canterbury v Tonga

Tonga in 1975 were making their second tour of New Zealand. Though they could not match the two 1969 wins in the “tests”  against NZ Maori they nevertheless won eight of their twelve matches. The Canterbury match was one that got away from them but they played attractive rugby and scored a bigger percentage of tries per match (50 in 12 matches) than any other side in New Zealand. Their captain, No. 8 Sione Mafi, who played in every game, was chosen by the NZ Rugby Almanack as one of their “Five Players of the Year”. The Almanack thought him “a player worthy of a place in any International side in the world”.

The Teams:

Canterbury: W F McCormick,D J McGuigan, A C R Jefford, T W Mitchell, M R McEwan, O D Bruce, L J Davis. K J Tanner, R W Norton, W K Bush, V E Stewart, J K Phillips, S E G Cron, D M Thompson, A J Wyllie.

Tonga: Valita Ma’ake, Talilotu Ngaluafe, Sami Latu, Hale Makaohi, Malakai ‘Alatini, Sosaia Makalo, Ha’unga Folau, Sione Mafi, Fakahau Valu, Fa’aleo Tupi, Saimone Vara, Saia Fifita, Molau Filimoehala, Kimbu ‘Inoke, Fatai Kefu.

Scorers:

Canterbury 31. McGuigan (4), McEwan, Thompson tries. McCormick pen., 2 con.

 Tonga 20. Ngaluafe (2), Mafi, Valu tries. Mafi 2 con.

Referee. D H Millar (Otago)