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Monday, November 25, 2013

Wales claim hard-fought win over tough Tonga in Cardiff

Wales picked up a 17-7 win against Tonga in Cardiff on Friday night, but more was expected of them ahead of a meeting with the Wallabies. All the points were scored in the first half, with Owen Williams and Ashley Beck scoring for the hosts.

The tries that Wales did score were nicely taken but the home crowd expected a big second half, but the Tongan's frustrated them and kept them scoreless after their 25th minute conversion. 

"It was pretty ugly out there. We knew going into the match how good a side Tonga were and we were not clinical enough, said Man of the Match, lock Luke Charteris.

"A team dogged like this will keep putting us under pressure but we won the game. I should have had two tries but didn't manage to get them," he added.

Charteris will be unavailable for the upcoming Test against Australia as he will be on club duty with Perpignan in France. Team mate James Hook and Bath prop Paul James will also be unable to play. 

Coach Warren Gatland said that as far as he knows everyone else will be available. Referring to the match, his 100th Test as a coach, he said that Tonga frustrated Wales.

"I think there was 11 minutes ball in play in first half, which for me was probably the lowest I've ever seen in an international game in a first half.

"And that was kind of the way it was played; re-set after re-set and slowing the game down and stopping. And that made it difficult for us to get some momentum."

"It's an ugly win, but we'll take it. It's frustrating, but there was the ambition there to go and play and put ourselves under pressure to play. We need to be better and more clinical next week."

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