Australian media praise 'Tongan Thor' following debut

Taniela Tupou made his Super Rugby debut on Saturday. Photo / Getty
Taniela Tupou made his Super Rugby debut on Saturday. Photo / Getty

Australian media are talking up the "Tongan Thor" as their next rugby sensation after his debut for the Reds at the weekend.

Taniela Tupou, the Kiwi schoolboy internet sensation who was poached by Queensland, made an impression in his debut Sydney appearance.

While there were none of the 60-metre tries he became famous for while playing for Auckland's Sacred Heart first XV, 135kg Tupou stood out as Queensland defeated NSW 37-22 in the national under-20 competition.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported that he excited with his first touch of the ball in the third minute when "he trampled a hapless Tahs defender Jonah Lomu-style".

And in the 60th minute, when the 19-year-old stormed through four defenders before being pulled just short of the line, Tupou reminded observers of what makes him so special.
More importantly, his scrummaging work was strong.

After an early wobble when he shot up after the engagement, Tupou found his leverage and worked over the Tahs front row, ensuring the Reds had dominance in most of the scrum contests.

- NZ Herald

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