Internationals TONGA RLWC2013 Campaign

mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Think this RLWC will be your typical 3 horse race (Aus, NZ, UK) so Ive decided to back my 2nd team to the death. Love an underdog and this one is close to the heart.

Going to bring the news of the team and players during Tonga's campaign to win the RLWC13...

1000399 514533478620550 1034262044 n

934062 488692987871266 794550784 n
A Bit of History
The South Pacific archipelago of Tonga, known as the ‘Friendly Islands’ after the reception given to Captain James Cook in 1773, took up the sport of Rugby League in 1986.

Within two years a domestic competition had been formed which now boasts seventeen clubs and over 2,000 players across the three main islands of Tongatapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai.

With a helpful proximity to Australia and New Zealand, and an increased Tongan presence in the world’s major domestic competitions, Rugby League in Tonga developed rapidly.

The 1988 Pacific Cup was Tonga's first taste of international Rugby League and in 1992 they actually made the final of the same competition.

In 1995 Tonga took part in the Rugby League World Cup for the first time. Before an enthralled crowd at Warrington’s Wilderspool Stadium, the Tongans came within a whisper of knocking New Zealand out of the tournament, losing by a single point in one of the best games in World Cup history.

Tonga also participated in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, where they performed poorly in pool games against France and Papua New Guinea and again missed out on a quarter final place.

At the 2008 World Cup, Tonga were favourites to reach the semi-final and started well enough by beating Ireland in their first pool game. The second match, against Samoa, was one of the matches of the tournament, but that was no consolation to the Tongans whose defeat ultimately proved costly.

539690 617430754964838 1026546341 n
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
Sup42

Sup42

Good one bro

I hope one of our Samoan Posters takes the same stance with their team.

Rugby Union did that thing where they got suburbs of Auckland to adopt a team ( racial as, they gave Remuera Scotland laughing my Mofo brave heart arse off on that one , might as well given that mob South Africa there would have been few complaints ).

I'm on the band Wagon of any team from the Pacific that isn't Australia , Tonga have a good chance and their lingo is more familiar to me so that is my 1st team in the list of underdogs

1) Tonga

2) Samoa

3) Kumuls

4) England

5 ) the other Teams who don't have a chance but might win a game here and there

1) My cousins from the Cooks

2) My relations from Italy

3) Any random team I'm not related to in any way that might ruin the event for the biased reffs and World cup organisers ( I'm looking at you former League super power France......and Union stronghold Wales
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Boys waiting at the airport to go to the motherland...
1385883 556158644458033 311384458 n

The boys are home...
1377237 556582494415648 718363850 n

Parade thrown in their honour in the village streets all the way to downtown...
1378241 536007199825527 1937048874 n

Forget the fancy isotonic stuff. Hydration for the team after training Tongan styles...
970535 550826768324554 485887971 n
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
More pics from the parade ripped straight from the cuzzies FB page...

1380835 581383295242123 1134538834 n

Sika Manu

1379987 581382181908901 576670567 n

Visiting team all strapped in safe and getting into the spirit of the parade

1381788 581381321908987 1174325456 n

Samisoni Langi

1235057 581383111908808 1157962918 n

Old Warriors and favourite Ukuma Ta'ai

1390768 581379425242510 1576200711 n

No Tongan parade is complete without a brass band​
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Shame Feletei not in the side.
Yes and no for me. He's a good player and we could have done with his skill set but he made his bed and is now not even able to sleep in it. Wish him all the best with his Origin aspirations. We have a team that wants to be here and will show that passion on the field...

Training in the rain yesterday. Getting prepared for England already...
1379593 556624127744818 720876617 n
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Brother Faisal

Brother Faisal

This is awesome. Its great for the tongan team to go home, Im sure it would be an amazing experience for Kite and those who werent born in Tonga, would like to see more of this. Good on Tonga
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Far Away Fan

Guest
Wow! Thanks for the pics, Wellie and your cuzzie. I have no connection with Tonga other than the fact that I think their players are the best. What a buzz it would have been to have been there.

And that pic from their spectacular haka at the Tonga vs. Samoa match 6 months or so ago. So good, that haka. Puts the Maori efforts to shame, I reckon. ;)
*ducks*
Haha Jake the Muss, you missed! :happy:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

slaughterhouse.sa

Yes and no for me. He's a good player and we could have done with his skill set but he made his bed and is now not even able to sleep in it. Wish him all the best with his Origin aspirations. We have a team that wants to be here and will show that passion on the field...

Training in the rain yesterday. Getting prepared for England already...

I dont fully agree with that comment...just because some of these guys are playing for Tonga in the world cup.
You cant tell me they dont have similar aspirations and would make similar moves - i.e Hurrell would of even played for Kiwis if he thought he was a better chance.

Mateo was still eligible to play for tonga - as he hasnt yet represented Australia.

Im not an expert - but seems to be a bit of politics / corruption/favouritism in some of the island teeams.
However I definately do support the tongans - no where as bad as the samoans.

For tonga - how does Mataitonga make the team? He is a NYC winger, yet they dont pick Laumape.
 

Trailrider

I don't understand why Feletei Mateo making himself available for NSW should exclude him from playing for Tonga in the WC. It makes no sense, NSW isn't a country it's a state within a country. International cricketers play for English county sides and IPL sides and go on to represent their countries of birth - I even remember Jeff Crowe playing for NSW and then captaining NZ. If a NZer took a super 15 contract with an Australian team I don't think that would affect his eligibility to play for NZ, so why is Origin treated differently? Seems like a counter productive rule to me and it's frustrating because it would've been good to see Mateo in the Tongan team.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
fanrrior

fanrrior

I agree with the sentiments above. It's awesome that they took the players back to their roots. Great for growing the game and for the players themselves.

Where abouts in Tonga did they go?
 
Miket12

Miket12

I don't understand why Feletei Mateo making himself available for NSW should exclude him from playing for Tonga in the WC. It makes no sense, NSW isn't a country it's a state within a country. International cricketers play for English county sides and IPL sides and go on to represent their countries of birth - I even remember Jeff Crowe playing for NSW and then captaining NZ. If a NZer took a super 15 contract with an Australian team I don't think that would affect his eligibility to play for NZ, so why is Origin treated differently? Seems like a counter productive rule to me and it's frustrating because it would've been good to see Mateo in the Tongan team.
There are probably others who know far more about Origin eligibility on here than I do but I think to play Origin, the players have to be able to play only for Australia. That said, I always thought that the rules for RLWC were different from other international league fixtures, and to try and keep the competition as strong as possible, playing for or making yourself available for other games, doesn't effect a players ability to change to other teams for WC.

Personally, if it was that he could have played for Tonga without affecting his Origin chances, I'd love to see him playing for them.
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
International cricketers play for English county sides and IPL sides and go on to represent their countries of birth - I even remember Jeff Crowe playing for NSW and then captaining NZ. If a NZer took a super 15 contract with an Australian team I don't think that would affect his eligibility to play for NZ, so why is Origin treated differently?
Forget other codes and lets stick to comparing apples with apples...

I dont fully agree with that comment...just because some of these guys are playing for Tonga in the world cup. You cant tell me they dont have similar aspirations and would make similar moves - i.e Hurrell would of even played for Kiwis if he thought he was a better chance. Mateo was still eligible to play for tonga - as he hasnt yet represented Australia.
I don't understand why Feletei Mateo making himself available for NSW should exclude him from playing for Tonga in the WC. It makes no sense, NSW isn't a country it's a state within a country. Seems like a counter productive rule to me and it's frustrating because it would've been good to see Mateo in the Tongan team.

In order for Mateo to have made himself eligible for NSW he had to sever his ties, eligibility, with Tonga. Whether he represented NSW or the Kangaroos was beside the point. He knew the risks and was willing to sacrifice the Mate Ma'a Tonga captaincy to fulfill his lifelong dream. He crossed the bridge last year and declared his allegiance to Australia meaning he would have to wait 2 years or until the next RLWC was over to change his International status. The RLIF rules surrounding this are very clear...

Im not an expert - but seems to be a bit of politics / corruption/favouritism in some of the island teeams. However I definately do support the tongans - no where as bad as the samoans.
Tohu Harris SBW. Nuff said...

For tonga - how does Mataitonga make the team? He is a NYC winger, yet they dont pick Laumape.
Nesi can also cover the halves and fullback. We are strong in the wing/centres with Mahe Fonua, Jorge Taufua, Konrad Hurrell, Siuatonga Likiliki and Daniel Tupou covering those positions. Its an embarrassment of riches for the Tongan team really...
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
I agree with the sentiments above. It's awesome that they took the players back to their roots. Great for growing the game and for the players themselves.

Where abouts in Tonga did they go?
Main Island Tongatapu. Still there.

Konrad Hurrell with his folks...
Tongarl

Instagram footage of Konnie and Ukuma in Tonga. Boys are stoked to be home...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

slaughterhouse.sa

Forget other codes and lets stick to comparing apples with apples...

In order for Mateo to have made himself eligible for NSW he had to sever his ties, eligibility, with Tonga. Whether he represented NSW or the Kangaroos was beside the point. He knew the risks and was willing to sacrifice the Mate Ma'a Tonga captaincy to fulfill his lifelong dream. He crossed the bridge last year and declared his allegiance to Australia meaning he would have to wait 2 years or until the next RLWC was over to change his International status. The RLIF rules surrounding this are very clear...

Tohu Harris SBW. Nuff said...

Nesi can also cover the halves and fullback. We are strong in the wing/centres with Mahe Fonua, Jorge Taufua, Konrad Hurrell, Siuatonga Likiliki and Daniel Tupou covering those positions. Its an embarrassment of riches for the Tongan team really...

NAh - there are quotes from RLIF stating Mateo is still eligible as he never actually played for Australia.

As for SBW - he is the best player - thats not politics - just SBW antics.

Samoa are a complete joke.
I wonder what the local coach has to offer about the game - free trip imo.
Nevermind the two Fox memorial players = complete joke.

Hence I was aiming more at samoa.
But we will see how professional the tongans are.

For sure the best team they have put together.

As for Nesiasi Mataitonga - seem him play a game at fullback, but much more on the wing.
Probably the one weakness ...that will have to overcome the big three.

Foster has good potential though
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
NAh - there are quotes from RLIF stating Mateo is still eligible as he never actually played for Australia.
Really! Im surprised then he didnt put his hand up because as I understand it he could have gone back to his Origin plans straight after the RLWC. I havent read anything of the sort and based my comments on what I remember reading at the start of the year...

Mateo puts NSW ahead of Tonga in Origin bid
February 7, 2013
Aimagessmhcomau 2013 02 06 4011282 art 353 B18 20MAteo 20ld 20thi 300x0

Switch … NSW-born Feleti Mateo. Photo: Getty Images

FELETI MATEO is so determined to force his way into the NSW Origin side that he has sacrificed the opportunity to represent Tonga at this year's World Cup.

Mateo has played eight Tests for Tonga and was expected to skipper the Mate Ma'a at the end-of-season tournament but his decision to change allegiances in order to play Origin has ruled him ineligible. Unless he makes the Australian team, Mateo will miss the World Cup in Britain, Ireland and France as players can apply to switch allegiances only once between tournaments.

''I have just decided to back myself,'' said Mateo, who will have his first opportunity to impress Blues coach Laurie Daley when he lines up for the NRL All Stars team at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night. ''I had always played for Tonga and the rule was that once I changed I couldn't go back, so I thought that if I did that and didn't get picked then I would rule myself out for Tonga and I didn't want to do that but now I have decided to go that path.''

https://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league...-origin-bid-20130206-2dyuk.html#ixzz2hZviPGwi

That article makes it pretty clear cut for mine.

Samoa are a complete joke. I wonder what the local coach has to offer about the game - free trip imo. Nevermind the two Fox memorial players = complete joke. Hence I was aiming more at samoa.
No comment ;).

There does seem to be a lot of eligible players of great quality that havent made the cut. Think they are still more competitive then most of the other teams outside the top 3...
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Time for Tonga to shine at World Cup in England
CHRIS BARCLAY
Last updated 05:00 13/10/2013

Astatic2stuffconz 1381568388 246 9277246

Getty Images
BRIEF CAREER: Charles Tonga in action for the Roosters in 2007.

The labour of love Charles Tonga embarked upon when driving south from Brisbane to watch his homeland in the 2008 World Cup has been superseded by a considerable distance, as he invests in Mate Ma'a Tonga's future.

When Tonga finished his brief NRL career as a frontrower, he was initially content to step back and spectate, when Tonga played Samoa in the group stage of the previous cup, hosted by Australia.

"I drove all the way to Sydney with my mates. I was standing in this corner just being a spectator, just watching the game," he says, while gazing out over Penrith's headquarters in Sydney's west.

"I had no idea I'd be coaching my nation at the next one."

Samoa won 20-12 that night, but when the Pacific Island rivals met at the same ground in April, Tonga were comfortable 36-4 winners - a margin that might have been greater had a pitch invasion not seen the game called off before the final conversion could be taken.

Tonga was in the coaching box to witness one of Tongan rugby league's greatest moments, and he has been back in Penrith over the past month preparing his side for this month's World Cup, in the UK, Ireland and France.

He was initially reluctant to succeed Jim Dymock as national coach, even though he maintained a strong affinity with his home, despite emigrating to Australia as a 5-year-old.

In 2009 he began regular trips to Nuku'alofa and beyond to develop the code and identify talented youngsters - a benevolent gesture facilitated by his recruitment company.

Tonga's 22-game first-grade career was unremarkable, but the code taught him one vital life lesson while sitting on the bench behind big-name props at the Canterbury Bulldogs or Sydney Roosters - professional football is not a long-term job.

He was already self-employed when making his debut for the Bulldogs at age 27 in 2005, as a replacement for captain Steve Price, who left Belmore for Auckland at the end of the previous season.

Tonga joined a front-row unit featuring Roy Asotasi, Willie Mason and Mark O'Meley so his game time was limited - and that scenario continued at the Roosters in 2006-07, where he was the low-profile defection compared to Braith Anasta.

"It was a short career, very short, but I had a life for myself before I played NRL, and I could go back to it when I finished.

"I tell the boys to start looking for life after footy. You can't just live for the time being. Save money, buy a house . . ."

Tonga reinforces that message when he brings talented juniors over from the islands to Australia, a policy designed to broaden their horizons and, possibly, feather the nests of their families back home.

"I wanted to teach them the game and also look at their lifestyle," he said, saying some of those youths had gone on to play rugby professionally in Japan, Europe, and with the sevens team.

While those successes are gratifying, Tonga's league team is his current priority as the cup looms.

Fiji (Rick Stone), Samoa (Matt Parish) and the Cook Islands (David Fairleigh) have appointed current NRL assistant coaches for the tournament, but in a major point of difference, the 36-year-old pastor has been involved with Tonga since being appointed ahead of former Auckland Warrior Duane Mann in 2009.

Tonga had reservations at first, but agreed.

"The passion and the love was always there for my people, but there's always politics in the Islands, mate," he said.

"It's awesome the board have really given me trust to be able to do the work properly. That was probably the biggest thing for me."

Tonga tackled a challenging environment - a cash-strapped code with a national team that played sporadically - and without structure.

Thankfully, progress has been made since Tonga actually had to play in a side depleted by visa issues, who beat the United States 28-22 in Hawaii last year. He is now mercifully retired and not so pensive about coaching.

Ranked 10th in the world, Tonga can approach their group games against Scotland, the Cook Islands and Italy with a degree of confidence after that surprising win at Centrebet Stadium on April 20.

A potential quarterfinal looms with the Kiwis, and although Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands are not expected to threaten New Zealand, Australia and England, they have the incentive of qualifying for the 2014 Four Nations if they finish as the highest-ranked Pacific Island nation.

Tonga approaches the task without trepidation, despite a lack of top-flight coaching experience.

That down time at least meant he had plenty of time to scout reserve grade and the under-20s, while Brisbane Broncos assistant coach, Kristian Woolf, lends tactical support to ease concerns that Tonga could be out of his depth without NRL experience.

"I have had to deal with that [perception]," he said.

"Just because you've played the game doesn't mean you're going to become a great coach, so I'm very lucky to have Kristian."

He is also fortunate to have a core of experienced players attuned to executing a game plan, and not being overawed by the occasion.

Brent Kite, Sika Manu, Fuifui Moimoi, Willie Manu and Mickey Paea are the veterans to complement the flair and enthusiasm of Konrad Hurrell, Glen Fisi'iahi and NRL grand final try-scorers Jorge Taufua and Daniel Tupou.

"The good thing is these boys are professional players," said Tonga.

"It's not like going to Tonga and trying to walk the kids through it."

Of course, the World Cup won't be a walk in the park, and with a 6-month-old to look after, Tonga is unsure whether he will extend his voluntary appointment into 2014.

"If I'm not coaching I'll still be in there somewhere helping out. My heart is in Tonga," he said, hoping the likes of Kite and Moimoi might eventually take up the ball and run with it.

"I'd like to see those guys take on the role further down the track. They've been in the system and understand our people."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/9277185/Time-for-Tonga-to-shine-at-World-Cup-in-England
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Here we go! Dont think it'll be as crazy as the RWC11...
Call for support as Mate-Ma’a-Tonga team set to arrive
050911 TONGA 037

The Tongan National Rugby League Team supporters in New Zealand have urged the legions of Tongan rugby fans who turned out to welcome the ʻIkale Tahi team in 2011 to return to the Auckland International Airport Tuesday and show your support for the Mate-Maʻa-Tonga team.

The 24 Tongan heroes will make a pit stop this Tuesday in Auckland en route to Britain for the Rugby League World Cup Championship 2013.

Among these strong supporters however, is the Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby League Committee, Sione Kivalu who voiced his appeal for the Tongan community support through Kaniva website.

“We need our people’s support and I ask if you have time please join us at the airport this Tuesday 15 at 4:30am to welcome our team. We need to show them our true support,” Kivalu pleaded.

“In Tongan we say – there is nothing difficult for us Tongans,” he added.

Kivalu said a fundraising dinner will be held at the Otahuhu Leopards Rugby league Club 645, Mt. Wellington Rd, Mt. Wellington on Wednesday 17. On Tuesday evening 15 a hulohula will be held but the venue is yet to be announced.

He invited those who would like to support the team financially on the nights and to perform a tauʻolunga during the hulohula or at the dinner to contact him on 09 276 8069. All funds will go to the players, he said.

Although only a three day stay, the boys have a considerable amount of free time to sightsee and meet with family.

The 24 national rugby league squad will stay at the Mt Richmond Motel and will have taining at the Otahuhu Rugby League Field. They will leave on October 17 for Britain.

https://www.nzkanivapacific.co.nz/2...te-maa-tonga-team-set-to-arrive/#.UlpmvhBxPyB
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Short footage of the Tongan teams parade by Havili Siliva...

 

Similar threads

mt.wellington
Replies
921
Views
55K
Sup42
Sup42
mt.wellington
Replies
75
Views
7K
mt.wellington
mt.wellington
Lord Gnome of Howick MBE
Replies
221
Views
19K
surfin
surfin
edd
Replies
41
Views
4K
Buck777
USAExPatriotNZCitizen
Replies
39
Views
3K
Maraea
Maraea