RLWC: Tonga v Lebanon Preview

Tonga v Lebanon
Christchurch Stadium
Saturday 3pm

It was dubbed one of the greatest moments in Tonga's sporting history, but last week's stunning comeback win over the Kiwis will count for little if they can't back it up against Lebanon in an elimination showdown in Christchurch. 

Trailing by 14 points at the break, it looked as if Mate Ma'a would have to settle for second spot in Pool B, but a second-half blitz inspired by David Fusitu'a, Konrad Hurrell and Ben Murdoch-Masila flipped the game on its head as Tonga roared home to snatch a famous 28-22 win. 

While it will be impossible to replicate the passion that engulfed that contest from the respective war dances to the final whistle, the highly-fancied Tongans can't let their guard down against a Lebanon side that plays with just as much emotion. 

Brad Fittler's men have been a joy to watch so far with their fans providing as much entertainment off the field as the players have on it. 

They've held their own in back-to-back losses to England and Australia but must overcome a horror injury toll if they want to upset Tonga. Robbie Farah (heel), Michael Lichaa (foot) and Mitchell Moses (shoulder) have all been named while Chris Saab (concussion) has been included on the extended bench but is unlikely to play after suffering a head knock against the Kangaroos. 

Tonga welcome back try-scoring machine Michael Jennings as well as experienced big man Sam Moa while Tevita Pangai Junior has done enough to maintain his spot on the bench.