Tonga to target ‘beatable’ Kangaroos
AUSTRALIA are bracing for a Tongan side who believe the Kangaroos "are beatable".
The Kangaroos and Tonga will play for the first time in Auckland on Saturday. Already the streets of Auckland are surrounded by red Tongan flags waving from house and cars alike with a crowd of about 30,000 expected for the match-up.
Australian coach Mal Meninga will prepare his side to avoid back to back losses for the first time in five years.
"I hate losing," Meninga said.
"We all do. The papers and media will be talking about the Kangaroos are vulnerable. We are at a stage in our transition that we have a bit of work to do. I can assure you we will be ready for next week.
"I'm looking forward to it. Even before this game I was excited about the talent of the footy team.
"We will concentrate on ourselves, we know it's coming. We know how committed they are going to be. We will be ready physically and mentally.
"They think we're beatable."
Meninga has vowed to stick with the same squad of 17 players who were beaten by New Zealand.
The likes of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita will lead the Tongan onslaught.
Kangaroos skipper Boyd Cordner is expecting another intense clash.
"They are proud of where they come from," Cordner said.
"It's well documented. We've seen through last year's World Cup how good of a side they are.
"Their fan base here in New Zealand is really good for the international game."