Mate Ma’a Tonga will take royal inspiration onto the field for tonight’s game

Hā'ele tu'i fekita mo e timi Mate Ma'a Tonga' ko ha me'a 'eni ne 'ikai angamaheni, ka kuo fakahā 'e hono 'alo fefine' Pilinisesi Lātūfuipeka ki he ongoongo' ne fu'u fiefia pe tama' mo mātu'aki māfana ki he timi'

When Mate Ma’a Tonga take to the field at Mt Smart stadium tonight, they will take inspiration from King Tupou VI with them.

Speaking directly to the team at a private reception at Atalanga last night, His Majesty told them how Tupou I had prepared his warriors for battle during the civil war in Tonga.

Pakilau O Aoteroa Manase Lua, who has been working on preparations for the match said the king was “very, very passionate.”

“He gave the boys some real rev up statements about how his ancestor prepared for war.

“When the King talked about the preparation of the warriors and his ancestors when they conquered the whole of Tonga, the players were listening intently.”

His Majesty greeted the players and, in a break from tradition, later spoke directly to them during a private sitting.

He was accompanied by Princess Latufuipeka and three heralds.

The players were accompanied by coaching staff and management.

Don’t boo

Meanwhile, Tongan fans heading for tonight’s match at Mt Smart stadium are being asked not to boo the Kangaroos.

Lua, who has been working on preparations for the match said the Tongan community had a soft spot for the Kangaroos for making the game happen.

“We are going to make sure that it is an atmosphere that is fun, loud and we want support our boys but we want to support the Kangaroos too because at the end of the day it’s a game that has bought our communities together,” he said.

Australian captain Boyd Cordner said the Kangaroos would have played for free.

The Kangaroos agreed to a 75% pay cut for the game and will be paid the same amount – $5000 – as the Mate Ma’a Tonga players.

Tonight’s sold-out game kicks off at 7.45pm after a prayer from Reverend ‘Ifalame Teisi.

The main points

  • When Mate Ma’a Tonga take to the field at Mt Smart stadium tonight, they will take inspiration from King Tupou VI with them.
  • Speaking directly to the team at a private reception at Atalanga last night, His Majesty told them how Tupou I had prepared his warriors for battle during the civil war in Tonga.

For more information 

Inside Tonga’s private reception with King Tupou VI

Cordner says Kangaroos would have played for free

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