Tonga wants 'grudge match' with Kiwis

The Mate Ma'a Tonga rugby league team need regular Test matches against New Zealand, Tonga coach Kristian Woolf says.

After Tonga's 38-22 victory over Toa Samoa in Saturday's Pacific Test in Sydney, Woolf also reiterated his call for a Test this year against Australia.

"The game that we really need to have on a regular basis is us versus New Zealand. It's a grudge match. We've obviously got plenty of blokes who played for New Zealand and play for us now and that adds to the grudge match," Woolf said.

"I think it's an event that played in New Zealand would get bigger and bigger. Something that has to be a regular on the international calendar and the start of that is for us to get an opportunity to play against Australia at the end of this year and show that we really can compete and can compete against the best in the world."

Tonga captain Jason Taumalolo and star player Andrew Fifita recently backed the call for a test against the Kangaroos as did Australian rugby league immortal Andrew Johns.

The commitment shown by some of Tonga's star players to their national team was further evidence the game should go ahead, Woolf said.

"They genuinely want to see international football as a much better product than what it currently is," he said.

"The reason it can be better is that there are currently only three countries in the world that are catered for in an international calendar.

"What Jason and Andrew [Fifita] and those guys are doing is they're trying to make a fourth nation that is competitive. People forget that if Andrew and Tevita [Pangai Junior] made themselves available for New South Wales this year and played in all three Tests, that's a 90 thousand dollar sacrifice they've made.

"They've made that to help improve international footy and I think what they're saying is they'd like to see the International Rugby League and the NRL do the same thing."

Toa Samoa coach Matt Parish said all the Pacific's rugby league playing nations needed to feature on the international calendar.

"Personally, I'd like to see the Pacific nations calendared in to the international calendar just like Australia, New Zealand and England," Parish said.

"If they want to grow the game they need to include the Pacific islands and I don't just mean Tonga and I don't just mean Samoa. I mean Fiji, I mean PNG and I mean the Cook Islands as well."

The Papua New Guinea Kumuls staked their claim for more Test matches on Saturday with a 26-14 upset victory over the star studded Fiji Bati.