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A proud moment for Tongan rugby

London, UK

Dear Editor

I was fortunate enough to have witnessed the win that Tonga had over Samoa

during their rugby league match here last Sunday (22nd October, 2006) in

Leeds, England. It is this crucial win that has qualified us for the Rugby

League World Cup to be held in Australia in 2008.

First of all I would like to congratulate the team, coach and management on

a very good win. The game was by far an exciting one and dare I say it, the

best league match I have seen so far from any pacific country? In fact the

match was of such superior quality that it reminded me a lot of the games

played between NZ and Australia, very intense and so nerve-wrecking to

watch.

Throughout the game our boys kept their cool and played with their hearts on their sleeves. Not only that but it is not very often that you get to see a rugby team from Tonga persevere right to the bitter end of the 80 minute game. The high fitness level of this team really surprised me and you could not help but be proud of them. Their captain, Solomone Haumono, is to be commended for not only his “man of the match” win but also his constant cries of encouragement to his fellow team mates of “mate ma’a Tonga!”

I have been in the UK for over thirty years and I have seen Tongan rugby

league/union teams come and go but I must admit, never have I had the

pleasure of witnessing a team that was special and professional. Their sense of discipline stood out for all to see. It was also the first time I have known a Tongan team to celebrate after a win by drinking only soft drinks.

Could this be a new turning point in Tongan sport? I hope so.

I wish this team all the luck in the world because they truly deserve it.

V. Maka

v [dot] maka [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk