Tonga Rugby League

Kiwis dominate Mate Ma'a Tonga


Following up their win over Tonga at the same ground in 2019 - the Kiwis victory was built on the back of a strong first half showing.

Kiwi playmaker Jahrome Hughes set the tone to score inside the first four minutes.

That was followed by a try to veteran winger Jordan Rapana who finished off great lead-up work by Kenny Bromwich and test debutant Dylan Brown.

The Kiwis led 20-6 at the break - adding one more try in the second half.

Captain Jesse Bromwich told SkySport said he was proud of the team effort.

Tonga selection not the only shock discovery for Koula

He also discovered he is related to Sea Eagles team-mate and good friend, Christian Tuipulotu.

“Christian’s Grandma and my Dad’s Grandma are sisters. We only just found out,’’ Koula said, who is also related to team-mate Haumole Olakau’atu.

“It was a little freakish to find that out as I have become close with Christian since he arrived at Manly.

“Once our family in New Zealand heard about our selections for Tonga, they informed my family here in Sydney that somehow Christian and I are related.

We want to lift the spirits of the Kingdom says Mate Ma'a Tonga captain

Huge crowds gathered at the community event at the Otahuhu Rovers Rugby League Stadium to watch the Men and Women's Kiwis and Tonga teams take the stage ahead of their test games on Saturday.

Both the men's and women's teams made a joint public appearance before the crowds.

The passionate crowds predominately made up of Tongan fans, sang church hymns and waved flags.

Mate Ma'a Tonga Captain Sio Siua Taukeiaho said the event is a welcome relief for many Tongans traumatised by January's volcanic eruption that devastated Tonga.

Tonga puts Origin stars Daniel Tupou, Kotoni Staggs on collision course with NSW

Tonga coach Kristian Woolf named a 25-man squad, with Tupou on the wing and Staggs at five-eighth, in a call likely to force the two stars to choose between state and country.

Manly second-rower Haumole Olakau'atu and Cronulla centre Siosifa Talakai, who have both been mentioned as contenders to be added to the Blues squad, were also both named.

Under the current eligibility rules, players from Tier 2 nations such as Tonga can play State of Origin without having to declare their allegiance to Australia.

MMT Squad announced

There are high fan expectations for both teams with the Kiwis under pressure to win on home soil, while Mate Ma'a Tonga seeks to avenge a 34 - 14 loss to the Kiwis in 2019, the last time the two teams met.

Bennett’s addition to boost Tonga rugby league’s performance

Woolf released a statement on the reasons for Bennett joining his coaching staff.

 “My commitment to St Helens and the inability of the representative and international weeks to line up in the two hemispheres means it is not possible to be in New Zealand for a week during the Super League season,” said Woolf.

“But we have been able to put together an amazing coaching staff with Dean [Dean Young], Wayne and Sika [Sika Manu].

New-look interim board for Tonga Rugby League

Kristian Woolf continued as Head Coach of Tonga’s National Rugby League team ahead of the June test match against New Zealand.  

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku was appointed as the new chairman of the board, taking the place of former Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa.

Two other Cabinet Ministers appointed were Sports Minister Sangstar Saulala and Trade Minister Dr Viliami Lātū, a government spokesperson told Kaniva News.

Family of former Warrior Konrad Hurrell safe in Tonga

The 30-year-old, who will play for St Helens in the Super League this season, was naturally worried about his family’s safety when he heard the news about the devastating natural disaster.

However, he says he’s been able to make contact with them back on the Pacific Island and much to his relief, discovered that everyone is OK.

“Obviously it’s been a tough couple of weeks, but I finally got through to my sister and through to my dad,” Hurrell said.

World Cup delay a chance for new Tonga rugby league body

Earlier this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed an appeal by the former governing body, Tonga National Rugby League, over its expulsion from the International Rugby League.

An Interim Management Group was installed in June to manage rugby league affairs in Tonga until March, which is Chaired by the Tonga Prime Minister, Dr Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa, and includes representatives from the Tonga Government and Asia Pacific Rugby League.

Tonga rugby league star, Will Hopoate signs with UK’s St Helens

The St Helens Star Media reports that the Tongan rugby league star will be reuniting with former Tonga rugby league coach Kristian Woolf.

Woolf is now coaching St Helen’s.

 “I am very happy and excited to be making the move to St Helens and to play for such a proud and historic club. I have never been to the UK before and I am excited to be a part of it all,” Hopoate said.

“I have been coached by ‘Woolfie’ before for Tonga and that was a big reason why I made the decision.”