Tonga down Lebanon to reach World Cup semi-finals

Tuimoala Lolohea Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Tonga are one step away from a Rugby League World Cup final, downing Lebanon 24-22 in their quarter-final in Christchurch.

In an end-to-end affair on Saturday in which both sides threw the ball around, Tonga's power up front eventually took them over the line.

While Mate Ma'a dominated the opening stages to pile on three tries in 22 minutes, a valiant Cedars side wouldn't give up.

They remained within one try for much of the match - including an extended scoreless period in the second half - and made things interesting late on with a try-of-the-tournament contender from Abbas Miski.

But they couldn't clinch a late winner, with Tonga progressing to a semi-final next weekend in Auckland against England or Papua New Guinea.

An World Cup final is on offer in what would be a historic achievement for a tier-two rugby league nation.