France and New Zealand through to Rugby World Cup quarter finals

Siale Piutau played in Tonga's Rugby World Cup victory over France in 2011

A still far from convincing France resisted everything Tonga could throw at them in Kumamoto on Sunday to win 23-21 and guarantee themselves yet another Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

France will now play England to decide who tops Pool C on Sunday.

What time is France v Tonga?

Just as in their opener against Argentina, France held on for a nerve-jangling 23-21 win, having built a big lead in the first half before seeing it frittered away after the break at Kumamoto Stadium.

"It's mental thing", Kefu said.

While France struggled for their victory, England beat the Pacific islanders 35-3, leading Tongan coach Toutai Kefu to depart from normal post-match diplomacy to suggest the inconsistent French may have trouble next weekend.

Center Malietoa Hingano got a second converted try early in the second half, shortly after France flanker Charles Ollivon had a try disallowed when the Television Match Official showed lock Sebastien Vahaamahina feeding him a forward pass.

The impressive Alivereti Raka, who scored a try and set up another, helped France into a 17-0 lead, only for Tonga to put up a courageous fightback. "We talk the same language, so it's easy for us".

ITV are exhibiting plump highlights of every Rugby World Cup fixture on the night of day to day of stream.

Both were converted by Romain Ntamack, who had also kicked a third minute penalty. Taking a quick pass from halfback Baptiste Serin, he collected his own kick ahead, judged the bounce well and rolled over for a try after 33 minutes.

A conversion from Ntamack meant France increased their lead to 17 points before Tonga finally got off the mark at the stroke of half-time when Tane Takula dived over the line on the back of a line-out and a driving maul.

The Fijian flair of winger Alivereti Raka and centre Virimi Vakatawa shone during the balmy twilight match, with each scoring first-half tries and repeatedly combining to menace the Tongan defence.

Vuna kicked ahead, Medard got bamboozled by a hard bounce, and Hingano collected it before bulldozing over for a converted try and suddenly it was 17-14.

With Takulua adding the extras, the teams were separated by just a kick at 17-14.

Ntamack knocked over a pair of penalties to give his team breathing space and the match appeared settled when winger Damien Penaud cantered over in the 68th minute.

France looked to have sealed the deal when Damian Penaud crossed the try line, but the TMO once again overturned the five-pointer on account of a knock-on.

History repeated and Tonga had another try six minutes after the restart, as Mali Hingano went over and Takulua converted. But the French stayed composed and kicked for touch to secure the win.

But they are going to hope to push France the total system here to capture spirits heading accurate into a final game in opposition to USA.

"I'm not anxious but unsatisfied".

In the end, it was three penalties by Romain Ntamack that got France through to a quarter-final likely against either Wales or Australia from Pool D - although Fiji still have a mathematical chance of a last-eight spot.



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