Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pacific weightlifting dominance, international rugby and netball kicks off and more on this week’s sports recap

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

Weightlifting Commonwealth champs.

The weightlifting commonwealth champs recently wrapped up in India last week, with our very own Pacific lifters starring on the medal podium. 

Samoa, Fiji and Solomon Islands all claimed medals in what was a tough competition leading into the Pacific games later this year in the Solomon Islands and next year’s Olympic games.

Samoa claimed four gold and one silver in their medal haul. Sanele Mao, Iuniarra Sipaia, Nevo Ioane and Don Opeloge were the gold recipients all finishing on top of their divisions.

(L-R) Nevo Ioane, Sanele Mao and Iuniarra Sipaia.

Opeloge was a standout once again breaking three Commonwealth records in his lifts. Lesila Fiapule claimed Samoas silver in her category.

Fijian lifter Leyna May Domonatani claimed gold and bronze for her country in her respective categories. Taniela Rainibogi also earned gold for Fiji in the senior men’s 109 kg category.

Nehemiah Elder also won silver while Miriama Taletawa took home bronze for Fiji.

The Solomon Island lifting team collected a total of 3 medals with star lifter Jenly Wini Tegu claiming gold in the women’s 55kg division. Shirmara Wini also grabbed bronze with Lorah Maelosia earning silver.

Rugby: Pacific Nations Cup kicks off in style.

The start of this year’s Pacific Nations Cup kicked off last weekend  with Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Japan all vying for the top in preparation for the Rugby World Cup later this year.

After an amazing start to their rugby journey for the year with a win against Australia A, Ikale Tahi were looking to repeat this feat against the Flying Fijians in Lautoka Fiji. A couple of changes from their win against Australia A, coach Toutai Kefu was hungry for a win.

A well executed first half start from Fiji however seemed to be the difference as they rallied in three tries in the first 20 minutes. Ikale Tahi fought back throughout the match but it was too little too late.

(L-R) Flying Fijians’ Josua Tuisova and Ikale Tahi’s Malakai Fekitoa.

Blockbusting midfielder Josua Tuisova was a standout for the Fijians causing nightmares for his opposite number Malakai Fekitoa. Tuisova was able to attract defenders through his line breaks and carries, freeing up his outside backs with vast space.

Despite the loss, Tonga were brave enough to muster a comeback despite a bad start to the match. Heading into their next match with Japan, Tonga have the chance to turn it all around in their favour.

The second match of the weekend saw Manu Samoa and Japan go head to head in what was Samoas first test for the year.

The game came down to the wire with Manu edging past Japan 22-24 at the final whistle. Despite coming away with the victory, Samoa would be looking to improve on their set pieces in their next fixture after failing to complete the majority of their lineout throws.

Moana Pasifika halfback Jonathan Taumateine was a clear standout, showing great speed in his passing and delivering great front ball to his backline. Taumateine was also influential in directing his forward pack across the pack, even scoring a try for himself.

Samoa will now head back home to Apia Park to face Fiji in what could possibly determine the Pacific Nations Cup winner.

(L-R)  Fijian Pearls captain Alisi Naqiri and her Tongan counterpart Peti Talanoa in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Netball Tonga.

Netball: Fiji and Tonga ready to kickstart their Netball World Cup campaign.

With the Netball World Cup set to commence in two days time, Fiji and Tonga will be looking to cause major upsets in their pool.

Clustered together with power nations Australia and Zimbabwe, the two pacific teams kick off their tournament against each other on match day 1. Currently on a roll at the moment with recent success in the pacific, Tonga are definitely a team to watch for.

A mixture of experience and youth will be key for Tonga hoping to continue their momentum in their World cup campaign.

Tai Tuivasa represents both his cultures when he enters the octagon. Photo: Getty Images: Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

UFC: Tai (Bambam) Tuivasa to feature on UFC 293 fight card

Tuivasa is booked to take on six-foot-seven Russian striker Volkov.

The vastly experienced 34-year-old comes into the bout with a 36-10 record as a professional and holds wins over the likes of Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem.

Tuivasa hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Pavlovich in December and will be hoping to avoid three straight losses when he takes on Volkov in front of what is sure to be a raucous home crowd.

The bout will take place on Sep 10th in what will be an expected packed out Sydney crowd.

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