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Tonga’s full back Kurt Morath says there will be no excuses for his kicking performance the second time he appears at the Northland Events Centre on Wednesday.
Morath missed the first two penalties he attempted against Canada at the Whangarei ground last week and although the 26-year-old converted his next four kicks, he wants an improved performance against Japan.
“The first kick especially, it went to the left, then the second kick went to the right. The second half was a bit better, the wind died down a bit and it made it a bit easier,” Morath said.
“The wind is hard to get used to as obviously it's changing, but previously to that game I didn’t get a lot of time on that field. This week, I will have had more time, so shouldn’t have any excuses.”
Morath said the team were looking at the match as a fresh start to the tournament after opening losses to the All Blacks and Canada.
“I think it’s the start of our Rugby World Cup,” he said. “After what happened last Wednesday, if we can get up against Japan and then going into that last game against France, we want to finish on a high."
And then there is also the business of revenge. Morath is one of 13 players in Tonga's Rugby World Cup 2011 squad who started in their last match against Japan, and he said they are keen to reverse that close 27-28 loss at the Pacific Nations Cup 2011.
Both nations finished that tournament with 10 points but as a round-robin championship is decided by who tops the table, the head-to-head win handed Japan their first PNC title.
"We will just try to right a few wrongs and get back with a win," he said.
Tonga play Japan at the Northland Events Centre on Wednesday September 21.