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Five Junior Ikale Tahi to join Moana Pasifika U20 on 11 March

Auckland, New Zealand

From left: Sione Matakaiongo, Manatu Leleifi, Peter Mafi, Siaosi Vaioleti and Poasi Tonga, chosen to play for the U20 Moana Pasifika team. Photo: Tonga Rugby Union.

By Tupou Vaipulu Jr

Five players from the Junior Ikale Tahi team have been chosen to play for the Moana Pasifika U20 team, in their next game on 11 March.

The players, Sione Matakaiongo, Manatu Leleifi, Peter Mafi, Siaosi Vaioleti and Poasi Tonga will remain in New Zealand to play in the coming Super Rugby Union U20 competition.

Tonga Rugby Union told Matangi Tonga that they will be playing against the U20 teams for the Chiefs, Hurricanes, Blues and Crusaders.

Their first game is set for Monday next week, 11 March, however, the team they will play against has yet to be confirmed.

Tonga Rugby Union (TRU) reported that the five players were chosen during their campaign in the Oceania U20s Rugby Challenge.

“Pale [‘o e] ngāue lelei [ko e] toe tanaki atu nāaue ke fai” “The reward for good work is more work” said a Tonga Rugby spokesperson.

Oceania U20's Rugby Challenge

Junior Ikale Tahi v Moana Pasifika. North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Moana Pasifika.

After two flops in a row against Fiji and Samoa, the Junior Ikale Tahi finally clinched their first win (33-31) over Moana Pasifika in round three of the challenge at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland yesterday, 6 March.

Moana Pasifika came out strong, leading 17-5 at one point in the game, leaving the Ikale Tahi desperate for some magic.

However, in the second half, the Ikale Tahi came out looking like a whole new team.

The score was 31-30 with only seconds left when fly half, Sione Matakaiongo kicked the winning penalty goal.

Number eight, Uikelotu Afeaki, was a phenom, scoring a hat-trick to help forge a major comeback against the home side.