Junior All Blacks secure Pacific Nations Cup title     01 Jul 2009    

Those results mean that the Pacific Nations Cup remains in New Zealand hands regardless of the result of the final matches.

This is the third time the Junior All Blacks have won the competition after the team secured titles in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, New Zealand Maori were New Zealand’s representative team in the Pacific Nations Cup and also won the tournament.

The Junior All Blacks will play Tonga in their final IRB Pacific Nations Cup match in Suva on Thursday July 2 at 3.10pm (local time and New Zealand time).

The Junior All Blacks beat Japan 52-21 in their third match running in eight tries.

“We didn’t have a great second half against Japan and are looking to improve on that performance and finish the tournament on a high,” said Junior All Blacks co-coach Colin Cooper.

“Tonga play with a lot of pride and we know they will bring a physical game but our guys are refreshed after a few days off and looking forward to maintaining an unbeaten record in the tournament,” he said.

The Junior All Blacks side to play Tonga is:

1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Hikawera Elliot
3. Ben Franks
4. Jeremy Thrush
5. Tom Donnelly (captain)
6. Jason Eaton
7. Karl Lowe
8. Sione Lauaki
9. Alby Mathewson
10. Stephen Brett
11. Hosea Gear
12. Ryan Crotty
13. Anthony Tuitavake
14. Rene Ranger
15. Isreal Dagg

16. Jason Macdonald
17. John Schwalger
18. Victor Vito
19. Alando Soakai
20. Chris Smylie
21. Colin Slade
22. Robbie Fruean

Junior All Blacks captain Tamati Ellison was not considered for selection due to sustaining a head knock in the game against Japan. Tom Donnelly has been named captain for the final match.

Meanwhile, Otago halfback Sean Romans has returned home after providing cover for Wellington’s Alby Mathewson and North Harbour’s Chris Smylie.

The game against Tonga will be broadcast live on SKY Sports 1 and the Rugby Channel at 3.10pm on Thursday 2 July.