Tonga receive hero's welcome on arrival to Auckland

It was a sea of red and white on Monday night, in scenes reminiscent of the 2011 Rugby World Cup when Tongan fans brought the tournament to life.

One-Test Kiwi Tuimoala Lolohea - who recently commented he feels more pride playing for Tonga than New Zealand - said the moment the team walked through the arrival gate was overwhelming.

"All the fans showing up to show their support, it means a lot," Lolohea said.

"I'm kind of speechless at the moment. Very excited".

Tonga launched their tournament campaign in style on Sunday, thrashing Scotland 50-4 in Cairns.

Solomons men, NZ women set futsal pace in Auckland

Solomon Islands edged New Caledonia 3-2 on Thursday morning, in a top of the table clash, before thrashing Samoa 8-0 to make it four straight wins.

Baby Kurukuru coach Stanley Puairana was excited to secure another six points but has already turned his focus on his team's last day of matches.

"So far we have 12 points and we're getting excited about maybe going to the Olympics but we're still taking it one game at a time, step-by-step," he said.

"Two games in one day is really hard but I know our players will continue to try their best".

Fekitoa benched by Auckland

First the Toulon-bound midfielder lost his place in the All Blacks squad, and now he has been demoted to the bench in what is proving to be a decidedly indifferent final lap of the track with Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Fekitoa has been far from a lone ranger, but he has struggled for anything resembling his best form as Auckland have stumbled to just one win from their first five matches to sit just a point above Counties Manukau at the foot of the Premiership standings.

Arrested Lions player says sorry

Tighthead Sinckler, 24, was returned to his upmarket hotel in a police car hours early on Sunday after police attended an incident involving "minor disorder" in central Auckland.

"A male was placed under arrest but was not charged after further inquiries established that the incident did not warrant prosecution," police said.

It is understood the incident took place on Galway St in central Auckland about 3am.

Hours earlier the 122kg Sinckler had come on in the third test at Eden Park, with the 15-15 draw earning the British and Irish Lions a share of the series.

U-16 Women’s Championship: First-ever full representation

In 2016, a hugely successful U-17 women’s tournament was hosted in Cook Islands featuring nine nations of which Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu, made their debuts at this age-group. For Fiji it was an historic outing after they finished third, narrowly beating New Caledonia in the match for third place.

This year will mark the debut of American Samoa, who have never participated in this competition, and the return to this level for Solomon Islands whose last outing was in 2010 when they finished a very respectable second.

Tevita Kava missing after falling off boat

Tevita Kava is originally from Tonga.

He joined others to celebrate a friend’s birthday on Saturday night when he fell off the boat in the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland.

According to a NZ Herald report, Kava’s devastated friends say another passenger also fell into the water, but was rescued, after leaning on the same barrier later in the night during a frantic search.

A full-scale search operation has been under way since police were called at 9.20pm on Saturday.

Auckland’s newest and only specialist Pasifika cuisine restaurant aims to bring to the city much more than Pacific cuisine.

Celebrity chef and author Robert Oliver, whose brainchild the restaurant is, plans to deliver a complete Pacific experience. Mr Oliver, who grew up in Fiji and Samoa is passionate about everything Pacific. He has authored two award winning books on Pacific cuisine and has anchored numerous television shows and been a judge on the popular ‘My Kitchen Rules’ TV series. He has been associated with setting up top end restaurants in several countries including the United States, the Caribbean and Australia.

Lord Sevele holds meeting in Auckland amid push to reverse decision on Games host cancellation

Kaniva News understands the meeting was attended by members of the Tonga Aotearoa Amateur Sports Association (TAASA).

TAASA describes itself on Facebook and how it operates as “an administrative sports organisation in junction with TASANOC Tonga”.

It held a meeting earlier on in Otahuhu in which members passed a decision to launch a petition against the governmentʻs stance on the Games.

Lord Sevele wanted to solicit the representatives’ views on what they could do to bring back the Games to Tonga.

Carjack drama at busy Auckland intersection

Police are still hunting 35-year-old Haumia Manuel after this morning's events.

He was spotted by officers speeding through a red light in a stolen car shortly after 9am today.

He crashed into another car at an intersection in the suburb of St Lukes.

He then got out and ran down a line of traffic, testing car doors before pulling a driver out of a car.

Officers chased him on foot and tried to stop him, and attempted to use a taser and pepper spray on him, but did not make contact with him, police said.

Tonga v Wales: June Test to be played in Auckland

BBC reports World Rugby assessed facilities in Tonga and has confirmed the match has been moved.

It will be played on Friday, 16 June, a day earlier than originally scheduled.

The WRU had expressed doubts over the readiness of Tonga's Teufaiva Sport Stadium, which is being redeveloped.

Another concern was the availability of medical cover should a serious injury occur.

Delegations from World Rugby and the WRU visited Tonga in December to see whether sufficient progress had been made, but concerns remained that the pitch would not be fit for purpose.