New Zealand Tongan Rugby Association rugby awards

An awards ceremony in South Auckland last week marked a milestone in an attempt by the New Zealand Tongan Rugby Association to revive the Aoniu Tournament, an opportunity for the local players in Tonga and overseas to join the  'Ikale Tahi squad and overseas professional rugby union clubs.

More than 30 prizes presented to players who deemed the Most Improved Player of the Year, Forward of the Year, Back of the Year, Player of the Year and Coaches of the Year.  

The tournament began with a Rugby Sevens Tournament in September and it was the first time a Tongan rugby association hold Sevens tournemanent in New Zealand.

‘Emosi Koloto, President of the NZTRA said the tournament ran from September to December and the result was brilliant and successful.

“After the tournament we will select one team from the six teams participated. That team would be called the Siutaka,” Koloto said.

“We have talked to the Tonga Rugby Union with president ‘Epeli Taione and Vice President Soape Tu’iono. They agreed with our idea to bring back the Aoniu Tounament,” he said.

This means Tonga and Tongans in Australia are expected to run local rubgy tournaments and would select their best players into one team respectivlely to participate in the Aoniu Tournament.

Aoniu Tournament was run in 1990s but discontinued  in 2000s.

 

Team

Most Improve Player of the Year

1st

Eastern Stars

Taniela Ofa

2nd

Toloa

Lea Mohetau

3rd

Saineha

Toa Kivalu

4th

Fasi/Ma'ufanga

Siua Hefa

5th

Kauvai

Lisitoni Vaka'uta

6th

Manurewa

Jr Matavao Fanguna

     
 

Back of the year

Forward of the Year

1st

Solo Kata

Siua Moala

2nd

Mo'ui Tau

Tevita Maka

3rd

Tonga Malupo

Siua Katoa

4th

Leakona Tovi

Loa Havili

5th

Setefano Vaka'uta

Poualo 'I Taula

6th

Lui Lauhingoa

Jonathan Talia'uli

 

2013 FInal Prize Most Improve Player of the Year

3rd

Jr Matavao Fanguna

2nd

Lea Mohetau (Toloa)

1st

Siua Hefa (Fasi/Ma'ufanga)

 

Forward of the year

3rd

Siua Katoa (Sineha (2))

2nd

Timote Milton (Toloa (8))

1st

Kainga Pesalili (Eastern Stars)

 

Back of the year

3rd

Leakona Tovi (Fasi/ Ma'ufanga (9))

2nd

Sione Katoa (Toloa (10))

1st

Michael Pongi (Easter Stars (9/10))

 

Coach of the Year (2013)

2nd

Ofa Topini (Toloa)

1st

Sione Ma'u Fifita (Eastern Stars)

 

2013 Final Prize Player of the Year

3rd

Antonio Talakai (Saineha (7)

2nd

Timote Milton (Toloa (8))

1st

Kainga Pesalili (Eastern (7)

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