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Tonga Rugby

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Blackdevil » Fri, 04 Sep 2015, 14:42

The tongan team for the world cup:
Tevita Mailau (Perpignan/FRA/D2), Alisona Taumalolo (Grenoble/FRA), Soane Tonga’uiha (Oyonnax/FRA), Halani Aulika (London Irish/ENG), Sila Puafisi (Gloucester/ENG), Elvis Taione (Exeter/ENG), Paula Ngauamo (Mont-de-Marsan/FRA/D2), Aleki Lutui (Ampthill/ENG/D3), Tukulua Lokotui (Béziers/FRA/D2), Joseph Tu’ineau (Lyon/FRA/D2), Steve Mafi (Western Force/AUS), Opeti Fonua (Leicester/ENG), Hale T. Pole (Otago/NZL), Nili Latu (Newcastle/ENG), Jack Ram (Northland/NZL), Viliami Ma’afu (Oyonnax/FRA), Sione Kalamafoni (Gloucester/ENG), Uili Kolo’ofai (Newcastle/ENG).
Sonatane Takulua (Newcastle/ENG), Samisoni Fisilau (Jersey/ENG/D2), Sosefo Ma’ake (Havelu Bulldogs), Kurt Morath (Biarritz/FRA/D2), Latiume Fosita (Doncaster/ENG/D2), Sione Piukala (Perpignan/FRA/D2), Siale Piutau (Yamaha Jubilo/JPN), Viliami Tahitu’a (Northland/NZL), Fetu’u Vainikolo (Oyonnax/FRA), Telusa Veainu (Melbourne Rebels/AUS), Tevita Halaifonua (Gloucester/ENG), William Helu (Edimbourg/SCO), Vungakoto Lilo (Montauban/FRA/D2).

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 04 Sep 2015, 19:48

Blackdevil wrote:The tongan team for the world cup:
Tevita Mailau (Perpignan/FRA/D2), Alisona Taumalolo (Grenoble/FRA), Soane Tonga’uiha (Oyonnax/FRA), Halani Aulika (London Irish/ENG), Sila Puafisi (Gloucester/ENG), Elvis Taione (Exeter/ENG), Paula Ngauamo (Mont-de-Marsan/FRA/D2), Aleki Lutui (Ampthill/ENG/D3), Tukulua Lokotui (Béziers/FRA/D2), Joseph Tu’ineau (Lyon/FRA/D2), Steve Mafi (Western Force/AUS), Opeti Fonua (Leicester/ENG), Hale T. Pole (Otago/NZL), Nili Latu (Newcastle/ENG), Jack Ram (Northland/NZL), Viliami Ma’afu (Oyonnax/FRA), Sione Kalamafoni (Gloucester/ENG), Uili Kolo’ofai (Newcastle/ENG).
Sonatane Takulua (Newcastle/ENG), Samisoni Fisilau (Jersey/ENG/D2), Sosefo Ma’ake (Havelu Bulldogs), Kurt Morath (Biarritz/FRA/D2), Latiume Fosita (Doncaster/ENG/D2), Sione Piukala (Perpignan/FRA/D2), Siale Piutau (Yamaha Jubilo/JPN), Viliami Tahitu’a (Northland/NZL), Fetu’u Vainikolo (Oyonnax/FRA), Telusa Veainu (Melbourne Rebels/AUS), Tevita Halaifonua (Gloucester/ENG), William Helu (Edimbourg/SCO), Vungakoto Lilo (Montauban/FRA/D2).



And were playing in the 4th tier last season before promotion. I know he's very experienced but still a great story for a guy from the 4th tier to go to the World Cup!

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Immenso » Mon, 23 Jul 2018, 23:10

Hinted at in the June Internationals thread (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1442&p=90953&hilit=vuna#p90953)

Here is Dan Leo's column in the rugby paper.

It's a long piece on T2 and T3 governance. Toward the end of the article he pen's his thoughts on the worrying potential impact of TRU's ineptness on the Tongan team.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/feature ... ng-system/

Rising above external challenges that present themselves and being able to perform and win despite them is part and parcel of sport. When your opposition places hurdles in front of you, they can be channelled positively, particularly in a contact sport like rugby, to give extra motivation and opportunities to draw closer as a side, build unity, resilience and all of the traits necessary to excel as a team.

Unfortunately the opposite is true when people on the interior of a team’s camp are responsible for those hurdles. Be it a fellow player, your own team management, Union or any other persons perceived to be on your side. Obstacles from within are almost impossible to channel positively and only serve to create division in a camp. Like a tumour they can be cancerous in sports teams and if not cut out immediately, are fatal.


Having spoken at length this week with ex-captain and current manager of Tonga, Inoke Afeaki, it seems the likelihood of Tonga imploding is very real. And what a shame that would be. The Ikale Tahi coaches and players have worked extremely hard over the past three years, climbing to 12th in the world rankings. Their current form suggests they are on the verge of doing something very special at next year’s RWC. But deficiencies in the Tongan Rugby Union (TRU) are beginning to show. At the recent Pacific Nations Cup, Afeaki didn’t have shorts for his players. There was no cash for X-rays. Players weren’t paid.

With infighting now taking place in the public domain between the TRU and management amid accusations of misappropriated funds and board members lacking key skills, the Tongans are skating on thin ice. And with the players now involved, the cancer is spreading.

Whether it’s fatal or not is yet to be decided. Let’s hope they can turn things around in time to present a united front at next year’s RWC. Tonga need it, and the world game needs it. But let’s not ignore the system changes that are required for our sport to really kick on. It’s time we put an end to that God-forsaken question that has for so long plagued lower Tier nations: What if?

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Immenso » Thu, 01 Nov 2018, 02:31

Tonga squad for November tour.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international ... 1t5xs7pgnE

Latu Talakai, Siegfried Fisiihoi, Paea Faanunu, Ma'afu Fia, Tolu Fahamokioa, Ben Tameifuna, Sefo Sakalia, Paula Ngauamo, Sitiveni Mafi, Leva Fifita, Dan Faleafa, Sam Ulufonua, Sione Kalamafoni (since withdrew), Valentino Mapapalangi, Maama Vaipulu, Sione Vailanu, Fotu Lokotui, Mike Faleafa, Sonatane Takulua, Leon Fukofuka, Kurt Morath, Latiume Fosita, Siale Piutau, Daniel Kilioni, Alaska Taufa, Viliami Lolohea, Hawaii Ahokovi, 'Atieli Pakalani, Latu Vaeno


I see that they are in Madrid a the moment, are they playing a game there or just a pre-tour training camp? First game of tour is V French Barbarians on the 10th.

Props: Latu Talakai, Siegfried Fisiihoi, Paea Faanunu, Ma'afu Fia, Tolu Fahamokioa, Ben Tameifuna,
Hooker: Sefo Sakalia, Paula Ngauamo,
Lock: Sitiveni Mafi, Leva Fifita, Dan Faleafa, Sam Ulufonua
Loose Forward: Sione Kalamafoni (since withdrew), Valentino Mapapalangi, Maama Vaipulu, Sione Vailanu, Fotu Lokotui, Mike Faleafa
Halfback: Sonatane Takulua, Leon Fukofuka
Flyhalf: Kurt Morath, Latiume Fosita
Midfield: Siale Piutau, Alaska Taufa
Utility: Hawaii Ahokovi
Wing: Viliami Lolohea, Latu Vaeno, Daniel Kilioni
Fullback: Atieli Pakalani

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby RugbyPUBtbilisi » Thu, 01 Nov 2018, 06:35

Good squad. Looking forward for Tonga to arrive in Tbilisi at the end of november.

Tameifuna vs Chilachava or Kubriashvili will be interesting to watch.

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 01 Nov 2018, 09:05

Immenso wrote:I see that they are in Madrid a the moment, are they playing a game there or just a pre-tour training camp? First game of tour is V French Barbarians on the 10th.

Just training, they are hosts of Alcobendas like in 2016.

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby MikeN » Thu, 01 Nov 2018, 20:14

Immenso wrote:Hinted at in the June Internationals thread (http://t2rugby.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t= ... una#p90953)

Here is Dan Leo's column in the rugby paper.

It's a long piece on T2 and T3 governance. Toward the end of the article he pen's his thoughts on the worrying potential impact of TRU's ineptness on the Tongan team.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/feature ... ng-system/

Rising above external challenges that present themselves and being able to perform and win despite them is part and parcel of sport. When your opposition places hurdles in front of you, they can be channelled positively, particularly in a contact sport like rugby, to give extra motivation and opportunities to draw closer as a side, build unity, resilience and all of the traits necessary to excel as a team.

Unfortunately the opposite is true when people on the interior of a team’s camp are responsible for those hurdles. Be it a fellow player, your own team management, Union or any other persons perceived to be on your side. Obstacles from within are almost impossible to channel positively and only serve to create division in a camp. Like a tumour they can be cancerous in sports teams and if not cut out immediately, are fatal.


Having spoken at length this week with ex-captain and current manager of Tonga, Inoke Afeaki, it seems the likelihood of Tonga imploding is very real. And what a shame that would be. The Ikale Tahi coaches and players have worked extremely hard over the past three years, climbing to 12th in the world rankings. Their current form suggests they are on the verge of doing something very special at next year’s RWC. But deficiencies in the Tongan Rugby Union (TRU) are beginning to show. At the recent Pacific Nations Cup, Afeaki didn’t have shorts for his players. There was no cash for X-rays. Players weren’t paid.

With infighting now taking place in the public domain between the TRU and management amid accusations of misappropriated funds and board members lacking key skills, the Tongans are skating on thin ice. And with the players now involved, the cancer is spreading.

Whether it’s fatal or not is yet to be decided. Let’s hope they can turn things around in time to present a united front at next year’s RWC. Tonga need it, and the world game needs it. But let’s not ignore the system changes that are required for our sport to really kick on. It’s time we put an end to that God-forsaken question that has for so long plagued lower Tier nations: What if?


Is the current massive popularity - and decent results - of their league team going to hurt the union side?

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Immenso » Thu, 01 Nov 2018, 21:37

I don't think so. I don't think much changes.

From the Tongan fans POV, the Tongan RL team only play 1 to 2 games per year. No doubt that the Tongan hype-train is partly based on the fact their fans think they stand a good chance in a RL test v a Tier 1 country, partly based on the eligibilty rules.

From a player pathway POV, There are 16 fulltime professional Rugby League teams in Australasia (The NRL) and only 9 fulltime professional Rugby Union teams (The NZ and Aus portion of Super Rugby). Nothing has changed here.

There is starting to build a reasonable sized Tongan population within Australia now, as well as the NZ Tongan population.

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby MikeN » Thu, 01 Nov 2018, 22:17

Well I guess you could chuck in all the European rugby and league sides as well, plus the Sunwolves. It would be nice to see some of the league stars running around in Union though.
It's probably organising a couple of games a year in league than a fuller international season in union. I suspect quite a bit of the organisation for the OZ Tonga league game was done by the aussies too.

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Immenso » Thu, 01 Nov 2018, 22:52

MikeN wrote:Well I guess you could chuck in all the European rugby and league sides as well, plus the Sunwolves. It would be nice to see some of the league stars running around in Union though.
It's probably organising a couple of games a year in league than a fuller international season in union. I suspect quite a bit of the organisation for the OZ Tonga league game was done by the aussies too.



Yes. But from the talent pool where Tonga Rugby League and Tonga Rugby Union are competing its really just NZ schoolboys.

European rugby clubs with Tongan talent on their books are either guys who have moved through the NZ union system and then moved offshore after 5 or so years, or genuine Tongan based produced products like Haliafonua and Kalamafoni etc who have gotten European contracts through the shop window of representing Tonga on the international stage.

Where Tonga Rugby League are getting their talent is through Australian rugby league youth (never really in the Tongan union orbit) or through NZ league and union youth, in particular Auckland schoolboys (some of whom may be Tongan scholarship boys now lost to union). Some of those NZ schoolboys will be proper union products, some will be League products who got scholarships to better Auckland schools to play union for the First XV but still play League for their clubs.

So the NZ schoolboy graduates is only area these two sports are currently clashing for talent.

It's not just the 16 NRL clubs, those 16 NRL clubs have a fully professional 16 team U20 comp and there is also 2 reserve grade level competitions (NSW Cup and QLD Cup).

You can make money quicker as a young rugby athlete in NZ if you go down the League route, but it means moving to Australia for most of them.

So, what I'm trying to say is that the Tongan League success is the by-product of a structure of incentives that have been in place for a decade or more. (An unintended consequence, League administrators would never be smart enough to actually plan something like this to improve international League)
Last edited by Immenso on Fri, 02 Nov 2018, 00:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Immenso » Fri, 02 Nov 2018, 00:09

Using wikipedia.

If you look at the Tongan RL squad. 21 players, only 2 are Tongan born who both moved from Tonga to New Zealand on rugby union scholarships to Auckland high schools. (Hurrell and Kata)

Looking at some of the others to see if they had a rugby union background:
- David Fusitu'a attended Kelston Boys' High School (used to be a top union school) and played junior football for the Marist Saints.(League)
- Tuimoala Lolohea: also Kelston Boys', also a Marist Saints (League) junior
- Sione Katoa: Katoa is of Tongan and Cook Island descent, and attended St. Bernard's College in Lower Hutt. He came from a rugby background and played all of his junior rugby at Avalon Junior RFC. He represented rugby at Hutt and Wellington age grades before deciding to try rugby league.

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Fri, 02 Nov 2018, 01:19

Immenso wrote:
MikeN wrote:Well I guess you could chuck in all the European rugby and league sides as well, plus the Sunwolves. It would be nice to see some of the league stars running around in Union though.
It's probably organising a couple of games a year in league than a fuller international season in union. I suspect quite a bit of the organisation for the OZ Tonga league game was done by the aussies too.



Yes. But from the talent pool where Tonga Rugby League and Tonga Rugby Union are competing its really just NZ schoolboys.

European rugby clubs with Tongan talent on their books are either guys who have moved through the NZ union system and then moved offshore after 5 or so years, or genuine Tongan based produced products like Haliafonua and Kalamafoni etc who have gotten European contracts through the shop window of representing Tonga on the international stage.

Where Tonga Rugby League are getting their talent is through Australian rugby league youth (never really in the Tongan union orbit) or through NZ league and union youth, in particular Auckland schoolboys (some of whom may be Tongan scholarship boys now lost to union). Some of those NZ schoolboys will be proper union products, some will be League products who got scholarships to better Auckland schools to play union for the First XV but still play League for their clubs.

So the NZ schoolboy graduates is only area these two sports are currently clashing for talent.

It's not just the 16 NRL clubs, those 16 NRL clubs have a fully professional 16 team U20 comp and there is also 2 reserve grade level competitions (NSW Cup and QLD Cup).

You can make money quicker as a young rugby athlete in NZ if you go down the League route, but it means moving to Australia for most of them.

So, what I'm trying to say is that the Tongan League success is the by-product of a structure of incentives that have been in place for a decade or more. (An unintended consequence, League administrators would never be smart enough to actually plan something like this to improve international League)


They've canned the U20s competition but you're largely correct.

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Re: Tonga Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Fri, 02 Nov 2018, 01:20

Immenso wrote:I don't think so. I don't think much changes.

From the Tongan fans POV, the Tongan RL team only play 1 to 2 games per year. No doubt that the Tongan hype-train is partly based on the fact their fans think they stand a good chance in a RL test v a Tier 1 country, partly based on the eligibilty rules.

From a player pathway POV, There are 16 fulltime professional Rugby League teams in Australasia (The NRL) and only 9 fulltime professional Rugby Union teams (The NZ and Aus portion of Super Rugby). Nothing has changed here.

There is starting to build a reasonable sized Tongan population within Australia now, as well as the NZ Tongan population.


I know a number of Force fans who would fight you to the death over that.

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