Solomone Kata scored two tries as Tonga gave retiring coach Toutai Kefu a winning send-off with a seven-try 45-24 victory over Romania as the two canon-fodder teams of the Group of Death served up a cracker after suffering a month of beatings.

Tonga had too much power and speed as Afusipa Taumoepeau, George Moala, Sione Vailanu, Pita Ahki and Kyren Taumoefolau also crossed for tries.

Romania, who battled back to reach halftime at 21-17 having trailed 21-3, have conceded the most points of any team in France with 287 in four games.

It was the best performance of the tournament by both teams – unsurprisingly given that the other three in the pool were ranked in the world’s top five.

Tonga dominated initially and Kata got the first try after 11 minutes after the exceptional Charles Piutau brilliantly offloaded while flat on the turf.

Former All Blacks centre Moala, making his first tournament appearance after a five-game ban for a tip tackle, got the second after more slick handling, and Taumoepeau jogged in the third to make it 21-3.

Alin Conache scored Romania’s first points since the 21st minute of their opening game with a penalty and they scored a try through Cristi Boboc.

Tonga had lock Leva Fifita sinbinned for smashing his shoulder into the head of flanker Florian Rosu, but he escaped a red after a TMO review.

Newly-energised and with their scrum surprisingly dominant, Romania put together a terrific maul to enable 38-year-old scrumhalf Florin Surugiu, in his 104th and final international, to slip off the back for their second try.

Conache converted both and suddenly, only 21-17 down at the break, Romania were dreaming of a comeback.

It wasn’t to be, though, as Tonga struck first after the break, turning to their forwards to bundle Vailanu over.

Romania, however, hit back as impressive fullback Marius Simionescu sprinted through to touch down Nicholas Onutu’s chip.

More great passing and direct running gave Pita Ahki a fifth Tonga try, and, after a superb 50-22 by Havili, Kata got the sixth.

A 70th-minute yellow card for Conache and a tiring defence suddenly started presenting Tonga with acres of space and replacement Taumoefolau showed great pace to squeeze in for the seventh try.

William Havili’s sweet left foot slotted five of his seven conversion attempts but Romania dug deep to keep defending despite most of their players being out on their feet.

It was the third time in nine World Cups that they have failed to win a match but they walk away from this one with their heads held high.