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be part of world cup
TONGA’S date with Cook Islands at Leigh Sports Village is now crucial for their World Cup progress – and so fans can expect them to be all guns blazing next Tuesday.
The Tongans, who have made friends across the borough during their tournament stay, lost their opening Group C game against Scotland in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.
A video referee try decision went against them on the final play and they lost 26-24 despite a stirring second-half comeback in which they scored 20 unanswered points, with Penrith Panthers prop Sika Manu crossing twice.
With only the table toppers progressing to the quarter finals, Charles Tonga’s men need to win their two remaining matches and hope that the Scots and Italians slip up in theirs.
So expect explosive action at the LSV for Tuesday’s Battle of the South Pacific, backing up an exciting opening week of matches that have seen fans flocking to the action and selling out grounds in Warrington, Rochdale and Huddersfield.
“The demand for tickets has been very high and we’re heading towards a sell-out,” said LSV’s chief executive Simon Toon.
“I know people like to walk up and buy a ticket on the night, but I would urge them to purchase in advance. We’d hate for people to be turned away on the night, as they were at Rochdale on Monday.
“It’s going to be a great night of international rugby league in a packed stadium, so make sure you’re a part of a really special occasion. How often does a World Cup come to Leigh?”
The ticket office is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm Sunday. You can buy tickets at wrlwc2013.com/leigh too. Cash-only tickets will also be on sale in Morrisons today, Thursday.
An offer is available, with each ticket sold, for a half-price ticket to the quarter final being staged at the DW Stadium in Wigan. Go to rlwc2013.com/leigh and click on the red ‘Buy One Ticket, Get QF at Wigan Half Price’.
Leigh Centurions’ Young Player Of The Season Ryan Brierley will, with Leigh legend Alex Murphy, carry the Rugby League World Cup trophy onto the pitch before the Tonga versus Cook Islands match.
Over the past week, the scrum half has been around the Tongans, who have 20 players in their squad registered to NRL clubs in Australia and New Zealand.
He said: “They’re pretty big! You’re always going to get physicality from the island sides but they’ve impressed me so far. And they’re really friendly too, like gentle giants. I’m sure they’ll do their adopted town and their country proud.”
Brierley has enjoyed the World Cup matches so far.
He said: “It really feels like everyone has bought into it. I just hope England can get to the final and maybe win it!
“I’ve loved watching Australia – Cooper Cronk plays in my position so I’ve enjoyed watching him.”
Brierley has spent time coaching children this year and believes the World Cup is important in terms of legacy.
He said: “We’ve had a chat about how we can use the World Cup as a way to get more kids involved in the game.
“The fact that there’s a coaching masterclass on Thursday at LSV with the Tongans is really good just in terms of coaches feeding off each other and getting advice."
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