Mate Ma’a Tonga and our future on the league stage
By ILIESA TORA
AUCKLAND, New Zealand – December 1: 5am (Nuku’alofa Times): The world of rugby league sat up and watched us with interest.
The fact that we had a star-studded lineup for the Rugby League World Cup tipped the scale our way in some sort of way.
Two defectors in Jason Taumalolo (from the Kiwis) and Andrew Fifita (from the Kangaroos) gave attention to the MMT.
Then when we started kicking butts and smacked Scotland, Samoa and then New Zealand big time that had everyone following us keenly.
And bet you me the discussions began in earnest then — that Tonga — just like Fiji —- must not make it into the Cup final.
We have to understand how things work up there at the top.
Just like in Rugby Union, rugby league has its own politics too.
There is no way we will ever make it into finals of the Rugby League or Rugby Union world cups.
Yes we were able to in the sevens rugby code.
That was simply because our Fijian brothers were simply too good and the decision makers at the top just simply could not do anything to stop that.
It would have been too obvious.
But in the full codes they have a control of the system.
That is why we were denied that second look at the winning try by Andrew Fifita at Mount Smart Stadium last Saturday night.
The gay and mentally retarded Australian referee (don’t even want to give him honour by mentioning his name here) knew that to go back to the video ref would have broken the rule of the game he was told to play.
It would have forced him to reverse his decision and award Tonga the win.
That would have shocked his bosses and those that paid him to do the job.
It would have broken all house rules within the rugby league top echelon.
To see the Kiwis booted out of contention the way they did had already shocked the league bosses.
Our own warriors smacked them so hard they did not know what hit them.
And while they were still trying to recover my long lost cousin Kevin Naiqama, who hails from our island of Koro in Fiji, led the Fijian Bati or warriors in grinding them to the ground for good this time around.
That had all guns firing in defense, on the side of the decision makers.
Australia was already guaranteed a final spot because everyone knew they were going to be much more tougher for Fiji.
However, there was a question mark on whether England would be able to come through against Tonga.
Thus the plot to ensure we never made it past the semifinals.
It worked well for them in the first half when England ran in tries and led with 20 points.
But when Sika Manu and his warriors began to show what we were made of everyone up there started itching.
The phone calls were made.
Instructions were sent out.
Tonga was not allowed the second chance – like what any expert ref would have done.
Now it is way too late.
For us at least.
The damage was done. Even the Poms did not believe that they had just escaped from the jaws of death.
They were successful in their bid to stop us short.
Yet all this has to be changed.
The world of rugby league now realise we can also be world beaters.
We are – both Fiji and Tonga — due to be given Tier 1 recognition.
Will that happen?
That is what we will need to all push for.
The Pacific have done it in rugby union.
Rugby league needs to follow suit.
Mate Ma’a Tonga showed us the way to do it.
Fiji helped by having been there first.
Together we must now move to shake the system.
It’s the least we should get out of the Rugby League World Cup.
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