Tonga

Cyclone Gita: Houses destroyed, church 'completely gone'

Fiji's MetService said the category four storm was very close to being upgraded to the highest category, five.

It had already washed out building and equipment of Tonga's met office, and Fiji weather forecasters took over issuing warnings for the region from shortly before midnight.

The storm was expected to be upgraded to a category five in the early hours of the morning.

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre earlier said it was hitting maximum sustained winds estimated at 233km/h.

Tonga's famous flagbearer returns to steal the show

Pita Taufatofua emerged from the tunnel covered in his trademark body oil and wearing a grass skirt, sandals and a huge smile as he led the Tongan delegation around the arena.

"I won't freeze. I am from Tonga. We sailed across the Pacific. This is nothing," Taufatofua said.

The Oceania gold medallist in taekwondo made global headlines in 2016 with a shirtless entrance as the country's flagbearer at the Rio Olympics.

The good news for his admirers is that he returned for the Winter Olympics, having switched to cross country ski-ing.

Pacific Games Council to begin legal action against Tonga next year

 

Tahiti is suspended after they boycotted the Vanuatu Mini Games over disagreements on who should represent them in boxing.

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue say both decisions reflect the council's mandate for autonomy in sports without political interference.

"We'll go through a process with them in the early part of next year hopefully, to try and reach some agreements around the respective independence and autonomy of the sporting body.

Samoa now has the hosting rights for the 2019 Pacific Games.

 

Women's football wows the crowd despite Vanuatu's scoreless draw

The showpiece of the night was a tough match between front-runners Vanuatu and Fiji that ended 0-0.

Vanuatu had been looking to build on their 5-0 opening win over Solomon Islands, while Fiji had recorded the same score over Tonga in their opener.

However this match proved a far closer contest. Both teams were very strong and had several chances.

The crowd cheered wildly with Fiji, as well as the home side, drawing strong support.

In the earlier match, Tonga defeated Solomon Islands 3-1 to the delight of Tonga’s excitable fans.

Ex-All Black Charles Piutau wants to play for Tonga

The 26-year-old earned 17 test caps for New Zealand between 2013 and 2015, but was overlooked for the last World Cup squad after signing for Ulster.

He is set to become world rugby's highest-paid player when he switches to English club Bristol next season, where older brother and 'Ikale Tahi captain Siale Piutau is already on the books.

Tonga coach Toutai Kefu said the former Tonga Under 20s representative was keen and would add real quality.

$US45 million for Pacific catastrophe insurance

The five countries are the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

The company, which is owned by the Pacific Island countries, was set up after states saw a need for a mechanism to protect their people from increasing climate and seismic risks.

It provides a regional catastrophe insurance platform offering cover that can be paid out within 10 days of a triggered event, so governments have access to immediate liquidity for disaster response.

     

World Cup ref boss backs controversial Tonga call

The Tonga camp were left fuming when referee Matt Cecchin failed to refer the passage of play to the video referee during England's 20-18 victory on Saturday.

With seconds on the clock, Fifita lost control of the ball under the pressure of an Elliott Whitehead tackle before regaining it and rolling over the tryline.

Tonga coach Kristian Woolf was dumbfounded that the decision wasn't sent upstairs, however, Archer said the decision was correct and Cecchin was in contention to oversee next week's final.

Tonga hold on against gallant Lebanon

In Saturday's end-to-end affair, which will go down as one of the most-exciting tussles of the tournament, Tonga's first-half display was just enough to get them over the line.

Pacific Tests confirmed for Origin period

Six nations will compete during a three-match festival at Campbelltown Stadium on June 23. Tonga, Samoa, Lebanon and Papua New Guinea will be joined by two further teams to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Samoa, Tonga, PNG make changes for World Cup quarters

Toa Samoa have made three changes for Friday night's match against Australia in Darwin, with captain Frank Pritchard and halfback Ben Roberts back for their clash with the defending champions, while lock Leeson Ah Mau also returns to the back row.

Pritchard and Roberts did not play in Saturday's 14-14 draw against Scotland, which earned Samoa a spot in the knockout rounds despite failing to win a game during the group stage.