KUMAMOTO – Tonga coach Toutai Kefu lamented the Pacific islanders' slow starts at the Rugby World Cup in Japan after their dream of a maiden quarter-final was crushed on Sunday having fallen short in a thriller against France.
Tonga were 17-0 behind at Kumamoto Stadium until they scored a try on the cusp of halftime, and though they showed great courage to push France to the brink, they left their run too late in a 23-21 defeat.
Having had sluggish starts in earlier pool-game losses to England and Argentina, Kefu said he and his staff needed to address the issue.
"We coaches talked about it straight away, post-game. Maybe we warm up for too long. It’s something we need to look at," the former Australia loose forward told reporters.
"It’s probably just a mental thing, because as you can see, we finished the game really well. It is definitely an issue for us.