Will Mate Ma‘a magic rub off on ‘Ikale Tahi in Hamilton next September?

'E fetaulaki 'a e 'Ikale Tahi mo e 'Olopeleki' 'i Sepitema 2019 'i Nu'u Sila

Tonga’s ‘Ikale Tahi will be hoping to borrow some of Mate Ma’a Tonga’s magic when they face New Zealand next year.

The news that the kingdom’s rugby union team will face the All Blacks in Hamilton in September comes after a bad month for the ‘Ikale Tahi.

Tonga lost 20-9 to Georgia in Tbilisi yesterday and went down 74-17 against Wales in Cardiff on November 17.

Mate Ma’a Tonga defeated New Zealand 28-22 during the Rugby League World Cup in 2017 and even its recent defeat by the Kangaroos filled the Mt Smart stadium with passionate fans.

That passion seems to be as much of an attraction for organisers as the kingdom’s rugby players of either code.

“This is tremendous for Hamilton and its community,” Hamilton Mayor Andrew King said.

“We know Tongan fans bring an incredible energy and passion to supporting their team.”

The match will be played at 2.35pm at the FMG Stadium on Saturday, September 7.

Tonga will also compete in the New Zealand sevens in Hamilton in January next year.

“As New Zealanders we really admire the way Tongan supporters get behind their team with such passion and commitment,” New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said.

“We’re looking forward to their enthusiasm and energy joining with All Blacks fans creating an amazing atmosphere in January and September.”

The ‘Ikale Tahi are scheduled to  Japan on September 8.

The main points

  • Tonga’s ‘Ikale Tahi will be hoping to borrow some of Mate Ma’a Tonga’s magic when they face New Zealand next year.
  • The news that the kingdom’s rugby union team will face the All Blacks in Hamilton in September comes after a bad month for the ‘Ikale Tahi.

For more information

All Blacks to play Tonga in Hamilton in 2019

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