PNC preview: Round Three

Date published: July 29 2015

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The third and final round of the Pacific Nations Cup pool stage take place on Wednesday when BMO Field in Toronto will host the six competing sides.

Fiji and Samoa currently sit atop the standings on seven points after an opening victory was followed up by that entertaining 30-30 draw between the impressive teams. Then there is a block of Japan and USA (five points) and Tonga (four). Canada prop up the Pacific Nations Cup table with no points from two games.

Following the games in Canada, the competition will move into a play-off system where the scrap for fifth place, the bronze medal and of course the final occur, with those fixtures taking place at Swanguard Stadium, Burnaby. Due to the congested table, only Canada cannot make the final in an exciting pool finish.

Japan's meeting with Fiji is a key one and they are boosted by Michael Leitch, Hendrik Tui, Shoji Ito and Fumiaki Tanaka all making their first appearances in 2015's tournament, while Shota Horie, Ayumu Goromaru, Yu Tamura and Kenki Fukuoka return after being rested against the Eagles. The Fijians meanwhile opt to go with Napolioni Nalaga on the left wing in place of Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

Tonga face USA without Nili Latu so Jack Ram comes in at openside flank for them, with Steve Mafi skippering the side.

Samoa combine Sinoti Sinoti with Alesani Tuilagi on the wing for the first time this year in what is a strong partnership.

Pacific Nations Cup Standings

Pool A

1 Samoa 7
2 Japan 5
3 Tonga 4

Pool B

1 Fiji 7
2 USA 5
3 Canada 0

USA v Tonga

USA: 15 Troy Hall, 14 Brett Thompson, 13 Folau Niua, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Zack Test, 10 Toby L'Estrange, 9 Shalom Suniula, 8 Al McFarland, 7 Scott LaValla, 6 Cameron Dolan, 5 Greg Peterson, 4 Louis Stanfill, 3 Chris Baumann, 2 Phil Thiel (c), 1 Matekitonga Moeakiola.
Replacements: 16 Zach Fenoglio, 17 Nick Wallace, 18 Eric Fry, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Andrew Durutalo, 21 Mike Petri, 22 Thretton Palamo, 23 Tim Stanfill.

Tonga: 15 'Otulea Katoa, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Sione Puikala, 12 'Alipate Fatafehi, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Kurt Morath, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Viliami Fihaki, 7 Jack Ram, 6 Steve Mafi (c), 5 Joe Tuineau, 4 Uili Kolo'ofa'i, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Sosefo Sakalia, 17 Alisona Taumalolo, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Tukulua Lokotui, 20 Hale T Pole, 21 Sosefo Ma'ake, 22 Latiume Fosita, 23 Vungakoto Lilo.


Fiji v Japan

Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Metuisela Talebula, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Lepani Botia, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Henry Seniloli, 8 Akapusi Qera (c), 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Dom Waqaniburotu, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements: 16 Sunia Koto, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Isei Colati, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Peceli Yato, 21 Nikola Matawalu, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Waisea Nayacalevu.

Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Kotaro Matsushima, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Hendrik Tui, 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Michael Broadhurst, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Hisateru Hirashima, 17 Hiroki Yuhara, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Hitoshi Ono, 20 Justin Ives, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Kosei Ono, 23 Yoshikazu Fujita.


Canada v Samoa

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Phil Mackenzie, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 Matt Evans, 10 Nathan Hirayama, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Tyler Ardron (c), 7 John Moonlight, 6 Kyle Gilmour, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Tyler Hotson, 3 Doug Wooldridge, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Benoit Piffero, 17 Hubert Buydens, 18 Andrew Tiedemann, 19 Callum Morrison, 20 Thyssen de Goede, 21 Richard Thorpe, 22 Gordon McRorie, 23 Harry Jones.

Samoa: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Faialaga Afamasaga, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Michael Stanley, 9 Peleifofoga Cowley, 8 Vavae Tuilagi, 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Faifili Levava, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Viliamu Afatia.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Williams, 17 Sakaria Taulafo, 18 Jake Grey, 19 Maselino Paulinho, 20 Francis Ieremia, 21 Vavao Afemai, 22 Patrick Faapale, 23 Faleniu Iosi.

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