Tonga rugby

Samoa, Tonga could be next as Fiji clinch NRC minor premiership

Rugby Australia high-performance boss Ben Whitaker confirmed they were in early talks with World Rugby about adding another Pacific Islands nation to the third tier competition after the Drua's success.

The Senirusi Seruvakula-coached side will host Canberra Vikings in Fiji in the first semi-final on Saturday after topping the regular season with a 33-28 win over the Western Force at the weekend.

Samoa A overpowers Tonga, 23-15 in Americas Pacific Cup

The side defeated Tonga A, 23-15, yesterday.

Winger Vaili scored a double to help the Muliagatele Brian Lima-coached team maintain their unbeaten record at the tournament, following a famous win over Argentina a few days ago.

Tonga looks to maintain momentum with Super Rugby recruits

Now that Tonga have beaten their Pacific rivals, Samoa and Fiji, their attention has turned to the November tour and coach Toutai Kefu said he will be looking at recruiting some new high profile talent including chiefs flyer, Toni Pulu.

"Toni Pulu is one of them. There are a couple of props overseas as well," Kefu said.

"Pauliasi Manu is still at the Blues, we would love him to come and join us.

"There's also [Osprey's] Ma'afu Fia who played down for the Highlanders, he is a prop that we have had our eye on.

Tonga league coach expects star players to stay

Taumalolo was one of four high profile players to turn down the Kiwis in order to represent Tonga at the World Cup, alongside Siosiua Taukeiaho, Manu Ma'u and David Fusitu'a, while Fifita switched allegiance from Australia.

The Kingdom bowed out of the World Cup in controversial fashion after being denied a match-winning try in the final act of their sold out semifinal against England in Auckland on Saturday.

But Kristian Woolf doesn't think that will be the last time most of his players pull on the red and white.

RLWC darlings set to receive heroes welcome upon return to Tonga

 

Tonga's stunning run came to an end yesterday with their 20-18 semi-final defeat to England at Mt Smart Stadium, in front of a capacity crowd of 30,003 mostly Tongan supporters.

Despite their disappointment in falling one game short of next Saturday's tournament final in Brisbane, the entire 24-man squad and coaching staff will fly to Tonga to spend time with family and friends and pay tribute to their legion of fanatical supporters.

Star Tongan forward Jason Taumalolo is undecided about whether he’ll stick with the Pacific island team.

Fifita, Woolf divided on late call

After the ball came loose and Fifita regathered to score what would have been the winning try on the final play of the game, referee Matt Cecchin ruled the NSW enforcer had knocked on rather than had the ball stripped by Elliott Whitehead in the lead up.

Further evidence suggests the call was correct, and post-match Fifita was quick to move past the issue, linking it to his stunning try in the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final where, on that occasion, luck favoured him.

"Look, that's football," Fifita said.

Tongan comeback falls just short

Trailing 20-0 with eight minutes remaining, Tonga produced an incredible comeback to score three tries in five minutes, and were denied a fourth on the final siren, to fall agonisingly short of booking an historic World Cup Final berth.

Four-pointers to Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolohea sent the 30,003-strong crowd at Mount Smart Stadium into mayhem, and very nearly saw Tonga continue their incredible unbeaten run.

Tonga fulfil former coach's vision

Tonga coached the national side from 2009 until the end of the 2013 World Cup and has watched with pride as the likes of Andrew Fifita, Jason Taumalolo, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, David Fusitu'a and Manu Ma'u have turned their backs on Australia and New Zealand to link with the Pacific Island nation.

As the Tongans prepare to take on New Zealand in the Pool B deciding clash in Hamilton on Saturday, the former national coach provided NRL.com with a sense of what the Kristian Woolf-coached side had done for rugby league in his homeland.

Tonga look to make winning start v Baabaas

     

The 'Ikale Tahi will face a Baabaas squad that led 17-5 against the All Blacks last weekend before eventually sucumming 31-22.

The Barbarians have named a completely new forward pack from the team beaten at Twickenham, while Nic Stirzaker and Robert du Preez form a new halves pairing and Fiji-born Australia wing Taqele Naiyaravoro starts on the right wing in place of the injured Julian Savea.

The Tongan squad has been in Ireland for close to two weeks and coach Toutai Kefu said they were ready to get underway.

Taumalolo inspires trouncing

All the talk about the ex-New Zealand lock's controversial defection did not prove a distraction as Tonga cruised to a 50-4 win over Scotland in their Rugby League World Cup opener.

Taumalolo came up with the most runs (18) for his team, eating up 197 metres, making 19 tackles, and a line break in his 57 minutes on the field.

Tonga threatened to hammer the record books as much as the Bravehearts in their nine tries to one rout in front of 9216 fans.

Parramatta flyer Michael Jennings bagged a first half hat-trick, equalling the most in a Cup match by a Tongan.