Mate Ma'a Tonga

MMT recalls Tongan tradition of courage and respect in times of defeat, says academic

Sione Tu’itahi, a former Tongan journalist, writer and lecturer at Massey University and now
director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand said these players were true patriots who gave everything for their purposes.

Tu’itahi said the players showed in their performance against England at the Mt Smart on
Saturday 25 they loved and remembered their homeland.

Tonga lost to England 18-20 in what many have described as history in the making.

Tonga declares public holiday Mate Ma’a Tonga world cup campaign

All team players will return to Tonga today except for six who require medical attention.

As Kaniva News reported the players will be invested with an award of the Royal Orders to recognise their contribution to sports.

The investiture ceremony will be held on Wednesday (November 29) at the Royal Palace at 4.30 pm (local time).

The awards will reflect the tremendous effort Tonga made to take on top tier teams like England and New Zealand and to come within a whisker of gaining a place in the finals.

Mate Ma‘a Tonga players to receive royal award from King Tupou VI

In a letter to President Sēmisi Sika of the Tonga Rugby League Association, the royal Chamberlain said: “I wish to inform that His Majesty The King has been pleased to invest the MMT players with an award of the Royal Orders in recognition of their contribution to sports.

The Investiture Ceremony is now planned to be held on Wednesday 29th November 2017 at the Royal Palace at 4.30 pm and to be followed by Refreshments until 6.30 p.m.”

Time for England to address ball control

The Wayne Bennett-coached side have completed at below 80 per cent in three of their four games so far, culminating in a sloppy effort in last week's 36-6 quarter-final victory over Papua New Guinea, where they completed just over half of their 46 sets.

Tough Tyro back for Tonga

Both missed the two-point quarter-final victory over Lebanon last Saturday and will return fit and fresh with Roosters’ big gun Taukeiaho starting and aggressive Eel Terepo returning to the bench.

England have gone with the same 17 that were successful against Papua New Guinea in Melbourne but made two changes on their reserves list. Jonny Lomax and Scott Taylor replace Stefan Ratchford and George Williams in the four listed reserves.

Mate Ma'a Tonga inspiring Tongan youth

Fran Popua 'Afeaki moved back to Tonga five years ago to work and invest back into her homeland. 

She says their league team's success on the international stage has encouraged young people to be proud of their nation.

"This team has decided to stuff the money and come back and win a world cup for us," she says. 

PRN reports 'Afeaki has a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Pacific Studies and French. She now works as a human resource manager for Tonga's Air Terminal Services. 

Airport turns Tongan fans away: 'It's almost like it's a racial thing'

The winner of today's Tonga vs Lebanon game in Christchurch will make the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals in Auckland next weekend.

The airport has issued an advisory saying if Tonga wins, they will transfer straight onto a bus and leave the airport without going through the domestic terminal on their return to Auckland.

Airport spokeswoman Lisa Mulitalo said the airport understood the pride the Tongan community had in their team and was proud to support the welcome event on the team's arrival into the country on October 30, when 3500 supporters turned up.

Tonga ready for Rugby League World Cup quarter-final

Mate Ma'a Tonga became the first second tier nation to defeat a tier one side, with a 28-22 win sealing top spot in the group.

Last week's shock 28-22 victory over the Kiwis saw Tonga finish ahead of New Zealand, setting up a clash with Lebanon for a spot in the tournament semi-finals.

Speaking to media versatile back, David Fusitu'a spoke about the intensity of the match.

"It was crazy, I know the boys really enjoyed it," he said.

"The effort the boys put in there... they did it for each other, it really showed out there."

Tonga target Kiwis scalp

The Kingdom repelled Polynesian rivals Toa Samoa 32-18 at the weekend to confirm their place in the knockout rounds and avoid a potential quarter final clash with Australia.

A win over the Kiwis at Waikato Stadium, in a match to determine top spot in Group B, would also avoid a last-eight matchup against England.

Tuimoala Lolohea said they were reminded by the coaching staff after the match that a tier two nation has never beaten one of the big three.

Tonga's halves hailed for leadership

As two of the least experienced players in the star-studded Tongan team, Ata Hingano and Tuimoala Lolohea were identified as a potential weakness prior to the World Cup, but silenced any doubters with a convincing showing at Waikato Stadium in week two.

"I thought our halves did a terrific job, everyone has spoken about our halves and that's where our inexperience is, but they won that game tonight," coach Kristian Woolf said.

"They certainly outplayed the opposition's halves and their kicking was exceptional, they built pressure in everything they did."