Tonga

Tonga govt assures country of normality

King Tupou VI last week made the decision to declare elections a year early, an effective vote of no confidence in Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Mr Pohiva's government will continue in an interim role until the elections, set down for November 16.

His cabinet met yesterday, before a brief statement was read on the country's public radio.

It provided no reaction to the decision, except to say that the administration of government services will continue.

 

Group B comes down to the wire

Already out of contention for the semi-final stage, competition debutants American Samoa will be out to cause an upset when they face Tonga in the opening match of the day. Tonga need a strong win – and Cook Islands to defeat Fiji – to equalise with Fiji on points and overtake the Melanesian nation on goal difference.

Feeling positive after claiming their first point of the competition on Monday, Tonga coach Lafaela Moala has put Cook Islands and Fiji’s encounter out of his mind and is keeping focus on repeating the impressive performance Tonga gave against Fiji.

Cook Islands claim first semi-final berth in OFC U 16 meet

Although their final placing won’t be confirmed until the last matches for Group B on Friday, Cook Islands secured at least a second place finish in the group – enough to qualify – after Fiji and Tonga’s 0-0 draw in the opening match of the day.

Pacific Games Council engages solicitor for legal action against Tonga government

Executive Director of Pacific Games Council, Andrew Minogue said they have engaged a local solicitor to proceed with the legal action.

After Tonga withdrew, the only country that has expressed their interest to host the game is Samoa while New Caledonia will support Tahiti to host the game.

Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Sailele Malielagaoi has already indicated his government’s willingness to support the bid for Samoa to host the Games.

But Minogue said the decision will be made after July 31.

PNG beat Tonga 4-1

The Tongans struck first in the 6th minute with a counterattack that saw Mele Kafa power a shot into the back of the net.

PNG regrouped and equalised in the 20th after a perfect through ball from Ramona Padio that found the boot of Selina Unamba who did the rest.

Padio then gave PNG the lead right before the break slotting one past keeper Mele Akolo to make it 2-1.

PNG dominated the second half and scored two more times through Padio in the 51st and Nicollete Ageva in the 88th.

Tonga gifted a spot at RWC 2019 in Japan

With the combined results of the 2016 and 2017 cups doubling as World Cup qualifiers, Samoa needed to at least draw with the unbeaten Fijians to overhaul Tonga and reach the tournament in Japan in two years time.

Even a bonus point in defeat might have been enough.

They led 16-14 at half time in Apia but had no answers as Fiji over-ran them in the second half.

Fiji, who secured qualification last week when they defeated Tonga 14-10, scored five tries in total, including a hat-trick to scrumhalf Henry Seniloli.

Tonga’s Pacific Games hosting agreement terminated

The Government pulled its backing for the Games at the end of May, citing financial reasons.

The Pacific Games Council gave them until the end of June to address their concerns and said if there was no change in stance they would begin proceedings to seek damages through the court.

But the Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, said the decision was final and his government wanted to focus its resources on more important areas of economic development.

Tonga toasts stadium with win

The tournament, which also involves Fiji, doubles as a qualifier for the World Cup with the combined 2016 and 2017 results deciding which two teams from the region win automatic berths in Japan in 2019.

It was the first test Tonga have hosted in eight years and drew a crowd of around 10,000 at the newly-refurbished Teufaiva Stadium in the Tongan capital.

Tongan halfback Sonatane Takulua scored all of his side's points in the second half with a converted try and a penalty as they built on their 20-16 lead at the break to hold off a late charge from the Samoans.

Pacific squads confirmed for OFC U-19s Women’s Championship

Kicking off just over a year after the 2016 OFC U-17 Championship – and only a few months after the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea – there are many familiar faces coming to Auckland this July.

Defending champions New Zealand have recruited an army of international experience for their attempt at a sixth-consecutive title including Malia Steinmetz, Grace Jale, and goalkeeper Anna Leat – who will offer senior international football experience to Gareth Turnball’s squad having already been in the mix for the New Zealand national women’s team.

Multi-lingual plays published in new book

"Talanoa: Four Pacific Plays" is the latest work from New Zealand-based Little Island Press.

RNZI reports the plays explore different aspects of Pacific people navigating New Zealand society as well as life back in the islands.

Olivia Taouma of Little Island Press also worked as a Pacific programmer for Auckland Council.

She said she helped co-ordinate a series of workshops at libraries to help Pacific writers publish and access a wider audience.