rugby league

NRL anti-violence program expands into Tonga

The NRL visited Tonga at the start of September to address the Tongan Government and a number of local organisations who are eager to support the NRL in delivering the anti-violence model.

Those organisations include; Families Free Of Violence (FFOV), Legal Aid, Women's Crisis Centre (WCC), Ma'a Fafine Mo E Famili (For women and families), Tonga National Centre for Women and Children (TNCWC), TALIFA and Ministry of Internal Affairs – Women's Division ( MIA).

RLPA concerned over Tonga Test pay cut

However, the RLPA will push for greater player input on international scheduling to ensure such a sacrifice is not needed in future.

The Kangaroos have agreed in principle to the significant pay cut in which they will sacrifice the lion's share of their standard $20,000 match payments for Tests.

The Mate Ma'a will likely receive the same payment - expected to be less than $5000 per player - when the two nations meet for the first time at international level.

Time ticking on Tonga vs Australia test

It's been nine months since Mate Ma'a Tonga's memorable run to the World Cup semi finals, which included a famous victory over New Zealand in Hamilton.

The Kingdom's request for a rematch against the Kiwis in October was rejected by New Zealand Rugby League, who also vetoed Tonga's desire to host the Kangaroos in Auckland.

Woolf said despite both sides wanting the match to go ahead roadblocks keep getting in the way.

"Our first option was that we wanted to play against New Zealand but it was very clear early on that that was not going to happen," he said.

SBW opens up about a return to league

Williams is targeting next year's Rugby Union World Cup with the All Blacks but his future beyond that is undecided.

The dual international turns 34 next August and is weighing up ending an illustrious career spanning Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan, rugby league, rugby union and boxing.

Williams became a pariah in the 13-man game after his walk-out on Canterbury in 2008 over a contract dispute.

Major League Rugby scouting for Pacific talent

Major League Rugby completed its inaugural season last month with the Seattle Seawolves beating the Glendale Raptors in the grand final.

Former Fiji sevens captain Osea Kolinisau (Houston SaberCats) and 'Ikale Tahi first five Kurt Morath (Utah Warriors) were among the Pacific players to feature in the debut Major League Rugby campaign.

The competition's top try-scorer, Tonata Lauti, was born in Tonga before moving to Salt Lake City with his family in 1996.

Kearney calls Warriors soft

The Warriors wilted in a 36-12 loss on the Gold Coast on Sunday after establishing a 12-8 lead at halftime.

A win would would have put them three victories clear of ninth with five games remaining.

Instead, they leaked five unanswered tries and miss a chance to consolidate their first NRL finals campaign since 2011.

It was a shock turn of events given they had won their past seven at Cbus Super Stadium, 14 of their past 15 against the Titans and seven of nine away games this year.

Tonga wants 'grudge match' with Kiwis

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.

Tonga v Samoa preview

Trailing 20-0 with seven minutes remaining of the semi-final against England, Mate Ma'a charged home with three converted tries and were on the attack again when Andrew Fifita appeared to be stripped of possession by England back-rower Elliott Whitehead before regathering and diving over for what would've been a match-winning try.

With Fifita ruled to have knocked the ball on several Tongan players were left in tears as a dream World Cup campaign came to an end.

The Tongan team culture that wouldn't suit any other sporting team

Spearheaded by known-larrikins Andrew Fifita and Konrad Hurrell, the pair were already launching a plan on how to initiate Rabbitohs debutants Robert Jennings and Junior Tatola into the squad, only hours after greeting them in camp.

As NRL.com spent the day with the Tongan side in the lead-up to their clash with Samoa on Saturday, the pranks were in full swing – capped off by Sio Taukeiaho's late arrival into camp.

The Roosters forward delayed the team photo following the birth of his second child.

Jennings commits to Tonga

The Parramatta Eels centre confirmed he will feature in the Pacific Test against Samoa at Campbelltown on June 23.

Jennings played for both Australia and New South Wales Blues before pledging his allegiance to Tonga ahead of the World Cup last year and tied his colours to the mast on Wednesday.

"My focus now is Tonga," the 30-year-old said.

"I'd love to play Origin but I made the decision I wanted to stay after the World Cup.