Mate Ma'a Tonga fans are expected to turn out in force at Mt Smart Stadium to support their team against the Kiwis tonight. It'll be the first time the teams have met since Tonga beat the Kiwis in that epic Rugby League World Cup quarter-final in Hamilton two years ago.
Tonga's rugby league side Mate Ma’a Tonga will be playing the Kiwis tonight as part of the Oceania Challenge Cup. Tongan rugby league legend John Hopoate joined us in studio.
The Mate Ma'a Tonga Fan Day was held on a wet and rainy Monday, with many MMT fans braving the cold to show some love to their national team.
New Zealand/Tongan weightlifting champion David Liti has set his sights for Olympic glory next year. But he has to prove himself first, to beat the best of the best.
Away from competing on the world stage, Commonwealth champion weightlifter David Liti wants to pursue his other passion, helping to grow the opportunities for our youth. Watch more on Tagata Pasifika, Saturday 15 June at 9.30am on TVNZ 1.
Southern Cross Campus was treated to gridiron royalty today as they welcomed three former NFL players to run a drill session. Ma’a Tanuvasa, Reno Mahe and Vai Sikahema are in the country this week to conduct coaching seminars, skill clinics and school visits under the banner of the Hawaiian-based Polynesian Football Hall Fame. This is the third visit to New Zealand by Tanuvasa, who came to prominence as a defensive end for the Denver Broncos in the mid 90s. He admits that while gridiron will never compete with rugby, he hopes the visit can spark further growth in New Zealand. “There’s not enough coaches to coach the game so hopefully we can be able to coach the coaches...and eventually the game will grow,” Tanuvasa says. Sikahema graced televisions as a the first Tongan to crack the NFL in 1986, spending seven years in the league before switching to a career in television where he currently remains as a broadcaster for NBC. He says while the New Zealand visit is focused on growing the game, it’s part of a bigger plan to get more Pacific people into higher education. “Outside of that honestly I don’t care about American football, that’s the job of the NFL.” “I only care about my youth, the young people of my homeland and Polynesians that they have an opportunity to get an education and if you can get a free education because of your prowess in gridiron, all the better.” One Kiwi who has already reaped the benefits and is now paving the way for local players to do the same is Aucklander Mark Nua, who was awarded a scholarship to BYU before making the NFL as an offensive lineman for the Detroit Lions and the San Diego Chargers in 1992. “Back in the mid 80s, I had just finished school and I didn’t really have any opportunities” “I was offered a scholarship and I graduated...that was probably the most proudest thing I think [for] my parents is that I actually graduated university with a BA in Sociology” The Polynesian Hall of famers fly out of New Zealand tomorrow.
The second edition of the Pasifika Challenge will take place at Eden Park on August 31 featuring a doubleheader between Pacific Island teams and the New Zealand Heartland XV. Titled the ‘Pasifika Challenge II: The Road to Japan’, it’s a follow up from the inaugural event in 2017 which saw Samoa take on the All Blacks and Tonga go head to head with Wales. Veteran commentator Ken Laban says hosting the event in Auckland makes Pacific Island rugby more accessible for New Zealand based fans. “The financial and travel would make it very difficult for them to see the teams so putting this competition on here in Auckland is significant for our Pasifika communities.” While the 2017 event was treated as a warm up for the All Blacks before the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, this time the focus is on giving Pacific teams more game time before the world cup in Japan later this year. Fijian halfback Frank Lomani says it gives his team more time to build camaraderie as they continue to face the challenge of uniting players from all over the world. “I think this is a good opportunity for us to get our combinations together because for us we come from different clubs” “So when we come [together] for a short period of time, for us it’s going to take time for us to mingle and get our game plan together.” Tonga and Samoa will play fixtures the following week against the All Blacks and Australia respectively, while Fiji and the NZ Maori will clash in a two match series next month. The three teams will also take part in the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup which will pit them against each other as well as Canada, Japan and the United States.
Toa Samoa fans in Sydney are expected to welcome their national team in blue at the New Era Stadium, Cabramatta on Tuesday 18th June 2019 ahead of their clash against the PNG Kumuls at Leichardt Oval on Saturday 22nd June. The Toa Samoa Fan Day this year will recreate a Samoan village setting for the […]
Samoan Eddie Williams who is Australia's Strongest Man is on his way to compete at the 2019 World's Strongest Man contest in Bradenton, Florida. He stopped off in Auckland and caught up with our reporter Soana Aholelei.
Female fighters don't get a lot of exposure compared to their male counterparts here in New Zealand, but one thing's for sure - there's no shortage of talent. One of those fighters is Samoan baby Nansen, a kickboxer turned boxer who's using her expertise to help her community.
Current commonwealth champ David Liti smashed all three of his National Weightlifting records at the 2019 North Island Championships yesterday in Auckland. The new records put him in good stead ahead of the Oceania and Commonwealth Championships in July, and bring him one step closer to his 2020 Tokyo Olympics dream. RECORDS: Snatch: 180kgs Clean […]
“For my family to see me not forgetting where I’m from and getting to represent my roots, that’s what it’s all about for me.”