2023 Rugby World Cup – Qualifying – Tonga vs Cook Islands Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Tonga vs Cook Islands taking place? Saturday 24th July, 2021 – 06:35 (UK)

Where is Tonga vs Cook Islands taking place? NPukekohe, New Zeland

Where can I get tickets for Tonga vs Cook Islands? Click here for the latest ticket information

What channel is Tonga vs Cook Islands on? This match will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream Tonga vs Cook Islands? This match cannot be streamed live in the UK

THE PREDICTION

Tonga lost both of their Oceania qualifying play-offs for the 2023 Rugby World Cup with Samoa by a combined margin of 51 points to maintain a pretty dismal record in qualifiers against their island neighbours. With Samoa now qualified as ‘Oceania 1’, Tonga must now avoid a real upset against Cook Islands who will come out fighting from minute one against this depleted side lacking confidence and star quality. The winner of this match will move on to a final play-off match for Rugby World Cup qualification against one of Hong Kong, Malaysia or Korea Republic and so if Cook Islands can spring a trap here they face a real fairy-tale chance at reaching the tournament in 2023. They remain the stark underdogs but this Tonga side are certainly weakened and a real sense of an upset here suggests the wise move would be leaving this pick alone. Otherwise, a punt on the team ranked 53rd in the world, 38 places behind Tonga, could be worth a go.

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