Tonga vs Hong Kong Rugby will face on Australia’s Sunshine Coast on July 23. The winners will qualify directly for next year’s tournament in France, while the losers go into the final repechage.
Hong Kong have arrived in Australia ahead of their 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifier against Ikale Tahi Tonga, and head coach Lewis Evans says his side will be better prepared than they were for their nail-biting win over South Korea last weekend.
A Gregor McNeish penalty with the last kick gave Hong Kong a narrow 23-21 win in the Asia Rugby Championship final, earning them the right to face the Pacific Islanders on July 23.
Rugby World Cup Qualifier
Despite leading 15-0 at half-time, Hong Kong were pegged back after the break and there was plenty of evidence to suggest the lack of game time since last December contributed to the errors that crept in as the game progressed.
Replacement five-eighth Gregor McNeish has slotted a penalty with the last kick of the game to send Hong Kong into a Rugby World Cup playoff against Tonga after a 23-21 victory over South Korea.
Hong Kong had the worst possible start to the Asian Rugby Championship final in Incheon on Saturday when winger Charlie Higson-Smith was sent off in the opening minute after his arm caught the head of South Korea back Jeong Yeon-sik.
The hosts were unable to take advantage of the extra man, however, and Hong Kong claimed the Asian title for the third straight championships after their 2018 and 2019 triumphs.