Pacific Rugby League International

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Pacific Rugby League International
Sport Rugby league
Number of teams 4
Country Pacific (Asia-Pacific Confederation)
Winners  Samoa (3rd title)
 Papua New Guinea (1st title)
Most titles  Samoa (3 titles)
Broadcast partner Fox Sports
Related competitions Melanesian Cup
Polynesian Cup
Anzac Test

The Pacific Rugby League International is a rugby league test match that has been played between two Pacific Island nations during the National Rugby League's annual representative weekend since 2013. The fixture was held at Penrith Stadium for the 2013 and 2014 test matches. In 2015, two fixtures were held; Samoa and Tonga competed for the Polynesian Cup while Fiji and Papua New Guinea competed for the Melanesian Cup at Cbus Super Stadium.[1] In 2016 the fixtures returned to New South Wales and were held at Parramatta's Pirtek Stadium.

In August 2015, the NRL announced a new $925 million (Australian) TV deal. As part of the deal it was announced that the Pacific test matches would continue to be televised until at least 2022 and will be played on the Sunday before game 2 of the State of Origin series. The deal begins in 2018.[2]

Match summaries[edit]

Date Winner Score Loser Venue
20 April 2013  Tonga 36 – 4  Samoa Penrith Football Stadium
3 May 2014  Samoa 32 – 16  Fiji Penrith Football Stadium
2 May 2015  Fiji 22 – 10  Papua New Guinea Cbus Super Stadium
 Samoa 18 – 16  Tonga Cbus Super Stadium
7 May 2016  Papua New Guinea 24 – 22  Fiji Pirtek Stadium
 Samoa 18 – 6  Tonga Pirtek Stadium

2013 test[edit]

2013 (2013) Pacific Rugby League test  ()
1 2 Total
SAM Canterbury colours.svg 4 0 4
TON Tongamatemacolours.PNG 10 26 36
Date 20 April 2013
Stadium Centrebet Stadium Penrith
Location Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Man of the Match Tonga Samisoni Langi
Referee Matt Cecchin
Attendance 10,143
Broadcast partner
Broadcaster Fox Sports Australia
Commentators Matt Russell, Greg Alexander, Mark Gasnier

The 2013 Pacific Rugby League test, was played between Samoa and Tonga. The fixture was created as a warm-up international for their 2013 Rugby League World Cup campaigns. Tonga won the test match 36-4. Tonga's Samisoni Langi was the man of the match award, after scoring 16 points from two tries and four conversions.

The game had only a few seconds left when Tonga scored the last four pointer of the match, but had to be called off before Langi had the chance to convert the final try due to fans invading the pitch.[3]

Both teams selected a number of débutantes, with the most experienced players only appearing between 3-8 times. The most experienced players that played in the test match were Tonga's Richard Fa'aoso and Etu Uaisele who both made 8 appearances for their country before this test match. Samoa's most experienced player was Ben Roberts who made 3 appearances before this test match. All players were NRL based players, except for Tongan winger Etu Uaisele who played for the Wyong Roos in the New South Wales Cup.

South Sydney's Roy Asotasi captained Samoa, and Manly's Brent Kite led Tonga.

Match details[edit]

20 April 2013
Samoa  4 – 36  Tonga
Try: Vidot 27' m
Goal: Roberts (0/1)
Video Try: Langi (2) 4' c, 73' c
Likiliki (2) 11' m, 42' m
Fonua (2) 63' c, 79' (not attempted)
Uaisele 59' c
Goal: Langi (4/6) 4', 59', 63', 73'
Centrebet Stadium Penrith
Attendance: 10,143
Referee/s: Australia Matt Cecchin
Man of the Match: Samisoni Langi (Tonga)
FB 1 Cronulla colours.svg Matthew Wright
RW 2 North Queensland colours.svg Kalifa Faifai Loa
RC 3 North Queensland colours.svg Antonio Winterstein
LC 4 Melbourne colours.svg Junior Sa'u
LW 5 St. George colours.svg Daniel Vidot
SO 6 New Zealand colours.svg Carlos Tuimavave
SH 7 Parramatta colours.svg Ben Roberts
PR 8 South Sydney colours.svg Jeff Lima
HK 9 Wests Tigers colours.svg Masada Iosefa
PR 10 South Sydney colours.svg Roy Asotasi (c)
SR 11 Wests Tigers colours.svg Eddy Pettybourne
SR 12 Cronulla colours.svg Sam Tagataese
LF 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Lama Tasi
Substitutions:
IC 14 St. George colours.svg Leeson Ah Mau
IC 15 Canterbury colours.svg Martin Taupau
IC 16 Cronulla colours.svg Mark Taufua
IC 17 North Queensland colours.svg Alex Elisala
Coach:
Australia Steve Price
FB 1 New Zealand colours.svg Glen Fisiiahi
RW 2 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Michael Oldfield
RC 3 Melbourne colours.svg Mahe Fonua
LC 4 Newcastle colours.svg Siuatonga Likiliki
LW 5 Etu Uaisele
SO 6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Samisoni Langi
SH 7 Panthers colours.svg Daniel Foster
PR 8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Brent Kite (c)
HK 9 Cronulla colours.svg Pat Politoni
PR 10 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sam Moa
SR 11 Panthers colours.svg Sika Manu
SR 12 North Queensland colours.svg Jason Taumalolo
LF 13 Cronulla colours.svg Anthony Tupou
Substitutions:
IC 15 Parramatta colours.svg Fuifui Moimoi
IC 16 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Richard Fa'aoso
IC 17 Wests Tigers colours.svg Ben Murdoch-Masila
IC 18 Brisbane colours.svg David Hala (came in as a late replacement for the injured Nafe Seluini)
Coach:
Tonga Charlie Tonga

Aftermath[edit]

After the test match, Steve Price resigned from the role of coaching Samoa. Later in the year Aussie Matt Parish took over the role, coaching Samoa at the 2013 World Cup.

At the World Cup, Tonga defeated Italy and the Cook Islands in Group C, but lost to Scotland and failed to qualify for the knockout stages.

Samoa was in Group B and lost to New Zealand before defeating Papua New Guinea and France to qualify for the quarter finals. They lost to Fiji 22-4 in the quarter finals to be eliminated from the tournament.

2014 test[edit]

2014 (2014) Pacific Rugby League test  ()
1 2 Total
SAM Canterbury colours.svg 12 20 32
FIJ Fijibaticolours.PNG 16 0 16
Date 3 May 2014
Stadium Sportingbet Stadium Penrith
Location Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Man of the Match Samoa Penani Manumalealii
Referee Ashley Klein
Attendance 9,063
Broadcast partner
Broadcaster Fox Sports Australia
Commentators Matt Russell, Greg Alexander, Mark Gasnier

The 2014 Pacific Rugby League test, was played between Samoa and Fiji. The fixture was a qualifier for the 2014 Four Nations.[4][5][6] Samoa won the test match by 32-16 after being behind 16-12 at half-time. Samoa's Penani Manumalealii won the man of the match award, scoring 3 tries in the match.

Samoa picked 7 debutantes for the test match, while Fiji featured three. All of the Samoan team were National Rugby League based players, while the Fijian side had 10 players from the NRL. Samoa's most capped player was Daniel Vidot who made his 6th appearance for his country, while Fiji's most experienced players were Alipate Noilea, Aaron Groom, and captain Ashton Sims who all made their 10th appearance for their nation.

Newcastle's David Fa'alogo captained Samoa, and North Queensland's Ashton Sims led Fiji.

Match details[edit]

3 May 2014
Samoa  32 – 16  Fiji
Try: Manumalealii (3) 13' c, 38' c, 44' c
Tuimavave 54'c
Vidot 64'c
Goal: Inu (6/6) 13', 38', 44', 50', 54', 64'
Sendoff: Tagataese 78'Red card.svg
Video Try: Naiqama 16' c
Storer 27' c
Tuqiri 30' m
Goal: Tuqiri (2/3) 17', 28'
Sportingbet Stadium Penrith
Attendance: 9,063
Referee/s: Australia Ashley Klein
Man of the Match: Penani Manumalealii (Samoa)
FB 1 St. George colours.svg Peter Mata'utia
RW 2 Brisbane colours.svg Daniel Vidot
RC 3 Cronulla colours.svg Ricky Leutele
LC 4 Canterbury colours.svg Krisnan Inu
LW 5 Melbourne colours.svg Young Tonumaipea
SO 6 Canterbury colours.svg Reni Maitua
SH 7 Cronulla colours.svg Penani Manumalealii
PR 17 New Zealand colours.svg Suaia Matagi
HK 9 New Zealand colours.svg Michael Sio
PR 10 Newcastle colours.svg David Fa'alogo (c)
SR 11 St. George colours.svg Leeson Ah Mau
SR 12 New Zealand colours.svg Dominique Peyroux
LF 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Isaac Liu
Substitutions:
IC 15 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dunamis Lui
IC 16 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Jesse Sene-Lefao
IC 8 Cronulla colours.svg Sam Tagataese
IC 18 New Zealand colours.svg Carlos Tuimavave (came in as a late replacement for Junior Paulo)
Coach:
Australia Matt Parish
FB 1 Panthers colours.svg Kevin Naiqama
RW 2 Wests Tigers colours.svg Marika Koroibete
RC 3 Parramatta colours.svg Semi Radradra
LC 4 South Sydney colours.svg Lote Tuqiri
LW 5 Panthers colours.svg Eto Nabuli
SO 6 Alipate Noilea
SH 7 Aaron Groom
PR 8 North Queensland colours.svg Ashton Sims (c)
HK 9 James Storer
PR 10 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Kane Evans
SR 11 Cronulla colours.svg Vitale Junior Roqica
SR 12 Peni Botiki
LF 13 Newcastle colours.svg Korbin Sims
Substitutions:
IC 18 Petero Civoniceva (came in as a late replacement for Waqa Blake)
IC 15 Panthers colours.svg Reagan Campbell-Gillard
IC 16 Fijibaticolours.PNG Osea Sadrau
IC 17 Fijibaticolours.PNG Atunaisa Turagaiviu
Coach:
Australia Rick Stone

Aftermath[edit]

After the test match, Petero Civoniceva said that "Test matches between emerging nations is a necessity for the game to grow outside of Australia, New Zealand and England".[7]

Due to the win, Samoa had qualified for the 2014 Four Nations.[8] Samoa lost all three matches, losing to England 26–32 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on the tournament's opening day double header, New Zealand 12–14 at Toll Stadium in Whangarei, and then finally, to Australia 18–44 at Win Stadium in Wollongong.

On October 19, Fiji defeated Lebanon 40–28 to win the inaugural Hayne/Mannah Cup.

2015 tests[edit]

Melanesian Cup[edit]

2015 (2015) Melanesian Cup  ()
1 2 Total
PNG Papua New Guinea colours.svg 0 10 10
FIJ Fijibaticolours.PNG 18 4 22
Date 2 May 2015
Stadium Cbus Super Stadium
Location Robina, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Man of the Match Fiji Marika Koroibete
Referee Australia Matt Cecchin
Broadcast partner
Broadcaster Fox Sports Australia
Commentator Joel Caine
Braith Anasta
Andy Raymond

On 24 December 2014, it was announced that Papua New Guinea would play Fiji and Samoa would play Tonga as part of a 2015 Pacific test double header. The 2015 Melanesian Cup was played between Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Fiji beat Papua New Guinea to win the inaugural Melanesian Cup title.[9] Fiji never looked like losing the match after an easy first half performance, leading 18-0 at the break. They went on to win the test match by 22-10. Fiji's Marika Koroibete won the man of the match award, scoring 2 tries in the match. Papua New Guinea's defeat means that they still haven't won a test-match on away soil since the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

Fiji picked 6 débutantes for the test match, while PNG also featured six players making their first ever International appearance for their country. Both teams had a fair share of NRL, Queensland or New South Wales Cup, as well as domestic club players. Papua New Guinea's most capped players were Nene MacDonald, Ray Thompson, and Tyson Martin who all made their 4th appearance for their country, while Fiji's most experienced player was their captain Jason Bukuya who made his 10th appearance for his country.

PNG Hunters' Israel Eliab captained Papua New Guinea, and Cronulla's Jason Bakuya led Fiji.

Match details[edit]

2 May 2015
Papua New Guinea  10 – 22  Fiji
Try: Trnka 52'
S Albert 68' c
Goal: Damen (0/1)
Zeming (1/1) 69'
Video Try: Bukuya 20' c
Koroibete (2) 28' c, 34' c
Goodall 76'
Goal: Koroisau (3/3) 22', 29', 35'
Wiliame (0/1)
FB 1 Souths-Logan Magpies Colours.svg Josh Damen
RW 2 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Nene MacDonald
RC 3 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Thompson Teteh
LC 4 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Kato Ottio
LW 5 Souths-Logan Magpies Colours.svg Matt Trnka
SO 6 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Israel Eliab (c)
SH 7 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Noel Zeming
PR 8 Panthers colours.svg Stanton Albert
HK 9 North Queensland colours.svg Ray Thompson
PR 10 Panthers colours.svg Wellington Albert
SR 11 Rhyse Martin
SR 12 Mackay Cutters colours.svg Tyson Martin
LF 13 Canberra colours.svg Luke Page
Substitutions:
IC 14 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Wartovo Puara
IC 15 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Willie Minoga
IC 16 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Brandy Peter
IC 17 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Adam Korave
Coach:
Australia Mal Meninga
FB 1 Wests Tigers colours.svg Kevin Naiqama
RW 2 Melbourne colours.svg Marika Koroibete
RC 3 Parramatta colours.svg Fabian Goodall
LC 4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Brayden Wiliame
LW 5 Illawarra colours.svg Eto Nabuli
SO 6 South Sydney colours.svg Daryl Millard
SH 7 Ryan Millard
PR 8 Eloni Vunakece
HK 9 Panthers colours.svg Apisai Koroisau
PR 16 Fijibaticolours.PNG Tikio Noke
SR 11 Cronulla colours.svg Jayson Bukuya (c)
SR 12 Newcastle colours.svg Jacob Saifiti
LF 13 Newcastle colours.svg Korbin Sims
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canterbury colours.svg Tyrone Phillips
IC 15 North Queensland colours.svg Viliame Kikau
IC 10 Newcastle colours.svg Daniel Saifiti
IC 17 Fijibaticolours.PNG Osea Sadrau
Coach:
Australia Rick Stone

Polynesian Cup[edit]

2015 (2015) Polynesian Cup  ()
1 2 Total
SAM Canterbury colours.svg 10 8 18
TON Tongamatemacolours.PNG 4 12 16
Date 2 May 2015
Stadium Cbus Super Stadium
Location Robina, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Man of the Match Samoa Sam Kasiano
Referee Australia Ben Cummins
Attendance 12,336
Broadcast partner
Broadcaster Fox Sports Australia
Commentator Andrew Voss
Greg Alexander
Andy Raymond

On 24 December 2014, it was announced that Papua New Guinea would play Fiji and Samoa would play Tonga as part of a 2015 Pacific test double header. The 2015 Polynesian Cup was played between Samoa and Tonga.

Samoa beat Tonga to win the inaugural Polynesian Cup title.[10] It was always a tight see-saw affair with no more than a 6-point margin separating the teams throughout the game. In the 77th minute a try-saving tackle was made on Tonga's Jorge Tafua. Tafua attempted to dive into the corner, after being pressured to move there, to score his hat-trick only to be knocked into touch with a colossal hit by big Samoan forward Sam Kasiano. This incident therefore prevented losing Samoa the lead with just minutes to play. The Samoans won the game, 18–16.

Samoa picked two débutantes for the test match, while Tonga featured four. Both teams' players were National Rugby League-based players except for Samoa's Michael Sio, who plays for Queensland Cup team Mackay Cutters. Samoa's most capped player was Daniel Vidot who made his 10th appearance for his country, while Tonga's most experienced player was Richard Fa'aoso who also made his 10th appearance for his country.

Canterbury's Frank Pritchard captained Samoa, and Penrith's Sika Manu led Tonga.

Match details[edit]

2 May 2015
Samoa  18 – 16  Tonga
Try: McGuire 24' c
Vidot 37'
Pritchard 56'
Peyroux 70'
Goal: Simona (1/4) 26'
Video Try: Tafua (2) 28', 48'
S Manu 52' c
Goal: Langi (0/2)
Kata (2/2) 53', 65'
Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Attendance: 12,336
Referee/s: Australia Ben Cummins
Man of the Match: Sam Kasiano (Samoa)
FB 1 North Queensland colours.svg Tautau Moga
RW 2 Newcastle colours.svg Pat Mata'utia
RC 3 Newcastle colours.svg Joseph Leilua
LC 4 Cronulla colours.svg Ricky Leutele
LW 5 Brisbane colours.svg Daniel Vidot
SO 6 Newcastle colours.svg Carlos Tuimavave
SH 7 Wests Tigers colours.svg Tim Simona
PR 8 Canterbury colours.svg Sam Kasiano
HK 9 Brisbane colours.svg Josh McGuire
PR 10 Wests Tigers colours.svg Sauaso Sue
SR 11 Illawarra colours.svg Leeson Ah Mau
SR 12 Canterbury colours.svg Frank Pritchard (c)
LF 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Isaac Liu
Substitutions:
IC 15 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dunamis Lui
IC 16 New Zealand colours.svg Sam Lisone
IC 17 New Zealand colours.svg Dominique Peyroux
IC 18 Mackay Cutters colours.svg Michael Sio (came in as a late replacement for John Asiata)
Coach:
Australia Matt Parish
FB 1 New Zealand colours.svg Tuimoala Lolohea
RW 2 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Jorge Taufua
RC 3 New Zealand colours.svg Konrad Hurrell
LC 5 Melbourne colours.svg Mahe Fonua
LW 14 Cronulla colours.svg Sosaia Feki
SO 6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Samisoni Langi
SH 4 New Zealand colours.svg Solomone Kata
PR 8 Parramatta colours.svg Richard Fa'aoso
HK 9 Cronulla colours.svg Pat Politoni
PR 10 Parramatta colours.svg Peni Terepo
SR 11 Panthers colours.svg Sika Manu (c)
SR 12 Parramatta colours.svg Manu Ma'u
LF 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Siosiua Taukeiaho
Substitutions:
IC 7 Wests Tigers colours.svg Joel Luani
IC 15 Panthers colours.svg Ben Murdoch-Masila
IC 16 Melbourne colours.svg Felise Kaufusi
IC 17 New Zealand colours.svg Albert Vete
Coach:
Australia Kristian Woolf

Aftermath[edit]

On October 17, Tonga had a one-off battle with the Cook Islands in the Asia-Pacific qualifying playoff for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The Tongans only led by 4 at the break before running away in the second half scoring 3 tries in the last 20 minutes of the game.

Before the game Tongan coach, Kristian Woolf, mentioned how players being eligible for second-tier nations such as Tonga and Samoa are being unfairly punished if they pursue an opportunity with an Australian or New Zealand Test or Origin squad. He made this recent complaint after Tongan internationals Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Tuimoala Lolohea went off to play for the Kiwis in their end-of-year test series against England. This now means that Tonga can't pick these two players until a 2-year period has passed. Woolf said "Some flexibility in those rules would certainly help in terms of helping your tier two nations becoming more competitive with your first-tier nations."[11]

Dylan Napa, a 2013 World Cup Cook Island international, was also called up by the country's coach Jason Chan but was permitted to play after he pledged his allegiance to play for Queensland in the State of Origin Series.[12]

2016 tests[edit]

Another Pacific Island nation that does not compete in these matches, Cook Islands, organised a test match with Lebanon at Belmore Sports Ground on May 8.[13][14]

Melanesian Cup[edit]

2016 (2016) Melanesian Cup  ()
1 2 Total
PNG Papua New Guinea colours.svg 8 16 24
FIJ Fijibaticolours.PNG 16 6 22
Date 7 May 2016
Stadium Pirtek Stadium
Location Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
Man of the Match Papua New Guinea David Mead
Referee England Robert Hicks
Broadcast partner
Broadcaster Fox Sports Australia
Commentator Matt Russell
Braith Anasta
Andy Raymond

The 2016 Melanesian Cup was played between Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Papua New Guinea created history to win their first Melanesian Cup title.[15] The test looked in a similar situation to last year when Fiji took a comfortable lead into the break but this time around Papua New Guinea scored enough points in the second half to outscore their pacific rivals and win their first major title since the 2009 Pacific Cup. Captain David Mead shone for the Kumuls as he made try-saving tackles, assists and even line breaks in a man-of-the-match performance which was a crucial influence to earning his country's first win win on away soil since the year 2000.

Fiji picked 7 débutantes for the test match, while PNG featured five players making their first ever International appearance for their country. Both teams had a fair share of NRL, Queensland or New South Wales Cup, as well as domestic club players. Papua New Guinea's most capped player was Rod Griffin who made his 10th appearance for his country, while Fiji's most experienced player was Akuila Uate who made his 12th appearance for his country.

Gold Coast's David Mead captained Papua New Guinea, and Port Kembla Blacks' James Storer led Fiji.

Match details[edit]

7 May 2016
Papua New Guinea  24 – 22  Fiji
Try: W Boas (2) 5' c, 52'
Ottio 42' c
McDonald 71' c
Goal: A Boas (4/5) 6', 8', 44', 72'
Sin Bin: Olam Temporarily suspended from 37' to 47' 37' to 47'
Video Try: Vunakece 16' c
Qionimacawa (3) 29', 37', 75' c
Goal: Kennedy (1/1) 17'
Moceidreke (2/4) 22', 76'
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Referee/s: England Robert Hicks
Man of the Match: David Mead (Papua New Guinea)


FB 1 Gold Coast Titans colours.svg David Mead (c)
RW 2 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Justin Olam
RC 3 Canberra colours.svg Kato Ottio
LC 4 Gold Coast Titans colours.svg Nene McDonald
LW 5 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Stargroth Amean
SO 6 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Ase Boas
SH 7 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Watson Boas
PR 8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Luke Page
HK 9 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Wartovo Puara
PR 10 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Henry Wan
SR 11 Australian colours.svg Rhyse Martin
SR 12 Wests Tigers colours.svg Rod Griffin
LF 13 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Adam Korave
Substitutions:
IC 14 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Adex Wera
IC 15 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Brandy Peter
IC 16 Australian colours.svg Willie Minoga
IC 17 Canberra colours.svg Kurt Baptiste
Coach:
Papua New Guinea Michael Marum
FB 1 Canterbury colours.svg Tyrone Phillips
RW 2 Newcastle colours.svg Akuila Uate
RC 3 Canberra colours.svg Sisa Waqa
LC 4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Brayden Wiliame
LW 5 Fijibaticolours.PNG Etuate Qionimacawa
SO 6 North Sydney colours.svg Sitiveni Moceidreke
SH 7 Australian colours.svg Maurice Kennedy
PR 8 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Kane Evans
HK 9 Australian colours.svg James Storer (c)
PR 10 Newcastle colours.svg Daniel Saifiti
SR 11 Cronulla colours.svg Junior Roqica
SR 12 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Fabian Goodall
LF 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eloni Vunakece
Substitutions:
IC 14 Melbourne colours.svg Ben Nakubuwai
IC 15 Sunshine Coast Colours.svg Tui Kamikamica
IC 16 Fijibaticolours.PNG Tevita Cottrell
IC 17 Fijibaticolours.PNG Jokatama Dokonivalu
Coach:
Australia Mick Potter

Polynesian Cup[edit]

2016 (2016) Polynesian Cup  ()
1 2 Total
SAM Canterbury colours.svg 8 10 18
TON Tongamatemacolours.PNG 6 0 6
Date 7 May 2016
Stadium Pirtek Stadium
Location Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
Man of the Match Samoa Fa'amanu Brown
Referee Australia Ben Cummins
Attendance 15,225
Broadcast partner
Broadcaster Fox Sports Australia
Commentator Andrew Voss
Jimmy Smith
Andy Raymond

The 2016 Polynesian Cup was played between Samoa and Tonga.

Samoa defeated Tonga to win their second consecutive Polynesian Cup title.[16] The strong crowd would always show their passion and loud screaming support throughout the game after big hits, strong runs and intense moments were key talking points. However a total of 29 errors and a completion rate of just over 50% from both countries was a headache for everyone to watch. Despite Tonga having 55% possession and more territory, they didn't score and the Samoans would make them pay by taking their few second half opportunities that were given to them resulting in another Samoan victory over their their old 'War rivals'.

Samoa picked 7 débutantes for the test match, while Tonga featured three. Both team's players varied from National Rugby League players to Queensland or New South Wales Cup to Holden Cup and even to the English Super League. Samoa's most capped player was Leeson Ah Mau who made his 10th appearance for his country, while Tonga's most experienced player was Feleti Mateo who made his 13th appearance for his country.

English Super League club Hull F.C. gave permission for two players to leave England and play in the Polynesian Cup test, coincidentally they were captain of both nations. Frank Pritchard captained Samoa, and Sika Manu led Tonga.[17]

Match details[edit]

7 May 2016
Samoa  18 – 6  Tonga
Try: Winterstein 15' c
Leutele 55' c
Wright 75'
Goal: Brown (3/4) 16', 40', 56'
Video Try: Pangai 4' c
Goal: Kata (1/1) 5'
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Attendance: 15,225
Referee/s: Australia Ben Cummins
Man of the Match: Fa'amanu Brown (Samoa)
FB 1 Wests Tigers colours.svg Tim Simona
RW 2 North Queensland colours.svg Antonio Winterstein
RC 4 Cronulla colours.svg Ricky Leutele
LC 3 South Sydney colours.svg Kirisome Auva'a
LW 5 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Matthew Wright
SO 6 Cronulla colours.svg Fa'amanu Brown
SH 7 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Pita Godinet
PR 8 Canterbury colours.svg Sam Kasiano
HK 9 Parramatta colours.svg Kaysa Pritchard
PR 10 Parramatta colours.svg Junior Paulo
SR 11 St. George colours.svg Leeson Ah Mau
SR 12 Hullcolours.svg Frank Pritchard (c)
LF 13 Wests Tigers colours.svg Sauaso Sue
Substitutions:
IC 14 New Zealand colours.svg Erin Clark
IC 15 North Queensland colours.svg John Asiata
IC 16 Canterbury colours.svg Raymond Faitala-Mariner
IC 17 Cronulla colours.svg Sam Tagataese
Coach:
Australia Matt Parish
FB 1 New Zealand colours.svg David Fusitua
RW 2 Australian colours.svg Mosese Pangai
RC 3 New Zealand colours.svg Solomone Kata
LC 4 Parramatta colours.svg Vai Toutai
LW 5 South Sydney colours.svg Michael Oldfield
SO 6 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Feleti Mateo
SH 7 North Sydney colours.svg Samisoni Langi
PR 8 Parramatta colours.svg Peni Terepo
HK 9 Panthers colours.svg Sione Katoa
PR 10 Melbourne colours.svg Felise Kaufusi
SR 11 Hullcolours.svg Sika Manu (c)
SR 12 Canterbury colours.svg Tony Williams
LF 13 Brisbane colours.svg Joe Ofahengaue
Substitutions:
IC 14 Sunshine Coast Colours.svg Nafe Seluini
IC 15 Cronulla colours.svg David Fifita
IC 16 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Siosaia Vave
IC 17 North Queensland colours.svg Patrick Kaufusi
Coach:
Australia Kristian Woolf

Aftermath[edit]

A couple of hours before the Pacific test-matches began, discussions were made and confirmed between the RLIF Deputy Chairman, John Grant, alongside Rugby League Samoa Chairman/Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation Chairman, Tagaloa Faafouina Su'a, and the Fiji Rugby League Chairman, Filimoni Vosarogo, that Samoa's city of Apia will host a test-match between Samoa and Fiji on October 8 2016. This test-match will mark 30 years of Rugby league in Samoa.[18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kumar, Rashneel. "WC platform". Fiji Times Limited. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "New NRL TV deal locks in Pacific Tests". Love Rugby League. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  3. ^ "Tonga smashes Samoa in a chaotic league Test shutout at Penrith's Centrebet Stadium". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Rugby League Planet". Rugby League Planet. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Four Nations Rugby League: Fiji to play Samoa for a place in tournament". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Samoa beat Fiji to advance to Four Nations". Nrl.com. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "We need more Tests: Civoniceva". Nrl.com. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Four Nations Schedule". Triple M. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Koroibete delights in Fiji win over PNG". Nrl.com. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Tonga torpedoed by flying Kasiano". Nrl.com. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Pacific rising: Call to loosen eligibility". nrl.com. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Chan rues Kukis' eligibility woes". nrl.com. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Belmore to host Cook Islands v Lebanon clash". asiapacificrl.com. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "Kukis come from behind to beat Lebanon". asiapacificrl.com. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "PNG stuns Fiji in a thriller". nrl.com. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Samoa holds on in pulsating Pacific Test". nrl.com. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  17. ^ "Hull FC: Frank Pritchard and Sika Manu to return to Australia and miss Challenge Cup game". hulldailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  18. ^ "Samoa to host Fiji in historic Test". nrl.com. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  19. ^ "ARLC chairman John Grant expects NRL clubs to support historic Test in Samoa". smh.com.au. Retrieved 7 May 2016.