In the old days it was called strength against strength.
This is why it does not make much sense for World Rugby to throw the second tier teams, such as Namibia, Chile, Uruguay, Portugal and Romania to the wolves during a World Cup tournament.
Yes, it’s the highlight of any player’s career to compete in a full stadium with rugby’s greats, but do the teams really benefit if they lose by cricket scores?
Hopefully Sunday’s exciting clash between Tonga and Romania in the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille has turned on the light bulb with the rugby bosses.
The teams weighed well against each other as it was strength against strength.
Tonga, who scored seven tries, won 45-24 after leading 21-17 at half-time.
Let the second-tier teams first compete in their own smaller World Cup where strength is against strength.
Compensate the winners and then have the top two teams compete with the top 12 teams in the world rankings.
Sunday was the first time this year that Tonga’s Charles Piutau could come into his own, the first time that George Moala showed why he played center for the All Blacks, the first time that Adam Coleman showed that he is still in any company belongs and that Ben Tameifuna could run like a fullback.
Also watch out for Romania, who for the first time not only defended and stood under the posts, but could also attack.
Scorers: Tonga 45 (21): Tries: Solomone Kata (2), George Moala, Afusipa Taumoeoeau, Sione Vailanu, Pita Ahki, Karen Taumoepeau. Goals: William Havili (5).
Romania 24 (17): Tries: Florin Surugiu, Cristi Boboc, Marius Siomionesco. Goals: Alin Conache (3). Penalty Goal: Conache.