rugby league

Folau could face SBW in Test but first must force way into Tongan team

Tonga coach Kristian Woolf intends to stay loyal to the players responsible for the rise of the Pacific nation in recent season but confirmed that Folau would be considered for this year's Tests against New Zealand, Fiji and possibly a Williams-inspired Samoa.

The majority of the squad committed to their heritage for the 2017 World Cup and again stuck solid during last year's stand-off with the Tongan National Rugby League.

World Cup organisers hoping for SBW to kick-off 2021 edition

Australia will meet Fiji, Italy and Scotland in Group B, while New Zealand were drawn against Ireland, Jamaica and Lebanon in Group C and Tonga play Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Wales in Group D.

In the women’s tournament, New Zealand were drawn in the same pool as Australia in a massive boost for the likes of England and PNG.

However, most interest in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace centred on which team Prince Harry picked as England's opponents in the opening match on 23 October, 2021. The match will be played at St James' Park in Newcastle.

NZ defeat Great Britain 12-8

No tries were scored in the first half with the sides locked 2-2 at half time, but the Kiwis took charge after the break as Jamayne Isaako and Corey Harawira-Naera crossed over.

Daryl Clark replied late on, but Great Britain would fall short and suffer a second loss at the start of the 2019 tour, having lost to a Tonga Invitational XIII last weekend.

Raiders crush Warriors 46-12 in NRL

Disappointment is the only word Warriors coach Stephen Kearney could conjure post-match after his side's remote finals aspirations dreams were all-but buried at Mount Smart stadium last night.

They'll remain 12th by the end of the weekend but can't fancy their hopes on current form, combined with a tough run home and ongoing injury problems for Kodi Nikorima and Karl Lawton.

Coach Stephen Kearney delivered his lacklustre players a rocket at the break and was still steaming at fulltime.

Kearney can't explain Warriors meltdown

The 46-12 loss to the Raiders on Friday left Kearney feeling angrier than he could remember.

His team trailing 30-0 at halftime, the coach was captured by television cameras delivering a dressing down to his players in the shed which involved furiously kicking a stray towel. It would have hit Peta Hiku in the head if the centre hadn't taken evasive action.

Kearney was angry that after a run of six gritty showings, in which no game was decided by more than four points, his side failed to front in their first game in Auckland for a month.

Vanuatu rugby league and volleyball teams set to miss 2019 Pacific Games over travel mix-up

According to Radio New Zealand (RNZ), the Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASNOC) broke the news after an over subscription of seats was discovered for their charter flight to Samoa in July.

VASANOC’s chief executive Henry Tavoa reportedly said all National Federations were informed of the selection criteria for the Games back in October 2017.

"When push comes to shove then we would inform the associations this is the criteria we would be following," he told RNZ. 

Rugby League: Warriors treatment of Johnson 'harsh'

The Kiwi NRL club has advised long-serving playmaker Johnson to test his value on the open market, even though there's a year to run on his contract.

The timing and public nature of the Warriors announcement was criticised by Nikorima, coming midway through New Zealand's three-Test series in England.

He said his room mate Johnson was caught off guard, days out from Sunday's second Test in Liverpool.

Vanuatu rugby league beaten by Hungary

Thursday's match was Vanuatu's first of the tournament while Hungary had already had a victory over Greece.

The extra time on the field showed early on with the Hungarians taking a 12-0 lead before the Melanesian side gained some rhythm and found themselves in front late in the game.

However Hungary scored last, eventually winning 18-13.

Vanuatu plays Greece in their last pool match on Sunday.

In Thursday's other game, Niue defeated Malta 26-16 and will now play the Philippines on Sunday with the hope of making the cup semis.

Time ticking on Tonga vs Australia test

It's been nine months since Mate Ma'a Tonga's memorable run to the World Cup semi finals, which included a famous victory over New Zealand in Hamilton.

The Kingdom's request for a rematch against the Kiwis in October was rejected by New Zealand Rugby League, who also vetoed Tonga's desire to host the Kangaroos in Auckland.

Woolf said despite both sides wanting the match to go ahead roadblocks keep getting in the way.

"Our first option was that we wanted to play against New Zealand but it was very clear early on that that was not going to happen," he said.

SBW opens up about a return to league

Williams is targeting next year's Rugby Union World Cup with the All Blacks but his future beyond that is undecided.

The dual international turns 34 next August and is weighing up ending an illustrious career spanning Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan, rugby league, rugby union and boxing.

Williams became a pariah in the 13-man game after his walk-out on Canterbury in 2008 over a contract dispute.