New Zealand got their World Cup campaign off to a victorious start, but it was far from convincing as they beat a willing Tongan team 41-10 in Auckland on Friday.
The seventh World Cup got underway at Eden Park with the hosts, New Zealand, opening up against Tonga as they raced into a 29-3 half-time lead - the bonus point wrapped up by the half-hour mark.
But then their game went pear-shaped and with just five minutes remaining on the clock the Kiwis had managed just one more try.
In fact at that stage the Tongans were leading the second half 7-5 - with a try from replacement prop Alisona Taumalolo coming after the visitors had laid siege to the All Black line for almost seven minutes.
But a late Ma'a Nonu try - to go by first-half scores form Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui (two each) - sealed the deal.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Dagg 2, Kahui 2, Kaino, Nonu
Cons: Carter 3, Slade
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Richard Kahui, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Isaia Toeava, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Cory Jane.
Tonga: 15 Vunga Lilo, 14 Viliame Iongi, 13 Suka Hufanga, 12 Andrew Ma'ilei, 11 Siale Piutau, 10 Kurt Morath, 9 Taniela Moa, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Finau Maka (captain), 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Joe Tu'ineau, 4 Paino Hehea, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ephraim Taukafa, 17 Alisona Taumalolo, 18 Kisi Pulu, 19 Sione Timani, 20 Samiu Vahafolau, 21 Samisoni Fisilau, 22 Alipate Fatafehi.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland))
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
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