The Remarkable Legacy of a Father: Celebrating Tonga and Cook Islands' Women's Accomplishmentswordpress,tagnames,father,legacy,Tonga,CookIslands,women'saccomplishments
The Remarkable Legacy of a Father: Celebrating Tonga and Cook Islands' Women's Accomplishments

The Remarkable Legacy of a Father: Celebrating Tonga and Cook Islands’ Women’s Accomplishments

5 minutes, 27 seconds Read
## Community Father honoured as Tonga and Cook Islands collect the women’s trophies

### By Margie McDonald, Contributing Writer

Tonga captain Litiana Tu’ifua led her team to victory in the Harmony 9s Open Women’s Trophy, paying homage to her late father and his love for the game of Rugby League. The Tongan team emerged triumphant with a 12-6 win over Fiji in a thrilling match held at the Croom Regional Sporting Complex on Sunday. Tu’ifua expressed her deep emotions about the victory, stating, “It means everything. I’ve been here since I was 15 and I’ve never won the final until today – and I’m 22.”

The win was particularly poignant for Tu’ifua, as she explained that she took up Rugby League in honor of her father, who passed away in 2016. She described him as a significant source of inspiration and an influence in her decision to pursue the sport. Speaking to, Tu’ifua expressed, “I’ve waited for so long to get this win. Sometimes we go to training and over the weeks we find out we’re related to someone else in the team – the game has brought us together and makes our bond even stronger.”

Kate Fallon, who hails from Tonga, was awarded Player of the Match. Fallon, a player for the NSW U19s Origin and South Sydney Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup, spoke about the significance of representing her family and culture on the rugby field. She said, “I’ve always wanted to play for Tonga as my mum’s side of the family is from there. So it meant a lot to be able to play for my family today. They were proud of me and so excited for me. And I learned so much more about my culture, which is something I will hold onto after Rugby League.”

In a show of solidarity, when one of the Tongan players suffered a right ankle injury late in the game and had to be helped off the field, her teammates demonstrated unity by bringing the trophy over to the sidelines and posing for team photos with her. This display of camaraderie exemplifies the strong bonds formed within the Tongan team and the dedication they have towards supporting each other.

Meanwhile, the Cook Islands showcased their dominance by sweeping the finals in both the Under-18 and Under-16 girls’ divisions. Known as the ‘Ozzy Cooks’, they overcame Samoa with an 18-12 victory in the Under-16s final, having taken a 10-4 lead at halftime. Alaianne Toia, the co-captain of the Cook Islands team, was named Player of the Match for her exceptional performance throughout the tournament. Toia expressed her team’s hunger for success, stating, “I think we just put more effort into it – up to 100 per cent – as this is a totally new team compared with last year. My girls put in the hard yards and didn’t miss any trainings. It’s a good feeling, but it’s just the start.”

In the Under-18s division, the Cook Islands girls secured a 14-8 victory over Tonga after leading 8-4 at halftime. Phoenix Lamese was awarded Player of the Match for her outstanding contribution to the team’s success. The Cook Islands team’s back-to-back victories in the Harmony 9s showcase their strength and determination on the field.

The Harmony 9s tournament, held over two days, featured an impressive total of 134 games with eight trophies at stake. The event brought together 27 heritage groups and involved 1200 players in the thrilling nine-a-side game of Rugby League. The tournament not only celebrated the sporting achievements but also served as a platform for cultural exchange and fostering a sense of community among the participants.

The success of the Tongan and Cook Islands teams in the Harmony 9s tournament highlights the growing presence of Pacific Island nations in Rugby League and their dedication to the sport. The participation and accomplishments of these teams reflect the deep cultural connections they have to the game, with players often being inspired by family members who have played before them.

It is commendable to see sports being used as a means to honor and remember loved ones, as Litiana Tu’ifua did in honoring her late father. Sports can serve as a powerful medium for preserving legacies, creating strong bonds within teams, and instilling a sense of pride and identity. The passion and determination exhibited by Tu’ifua, Fallon, Toia, and Lamese demonstrate the significance of Rugby League beyond mere competition.

The achievements of the Tongan and Cook Islands teams also showcase the importance of diversity and representation in the world of sports. These victories serve as an inspiration for young girls and women from Pacific Island backgrounds, demonstrating that they too can achieve success in the sporting arena.

In conclusion, the Harmony 9s tournament provided an opportunity for players from Tonga and the Cook Islands to showcase their skills, honor their heritage, and celebrate their victories. Beyond the scores and trophies, the tournament symbolizes the power of sport to bring communities together, foster cultural exchange, and inspire individuals to strive for greatness. The legacy of the players and the strong bonds formed within their teams will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations of Rugby League players from Pacific Island nations. As this sport continues to grow in popularity and diversity, it is imperative that we celebrate and support these remarkable achievements and the cultural richness they bring to the world of sports.


The Remarkable Legacy of a Father: Celebrating Tonga and Cook Islands
<< photo by Alireza Najaf >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

You might want to read !


Hannah McKenzie

Hi folks, Hannah McKenzie at your service! I cover all things lifestyle, from health to fashion. Whether it's the latest diet craze or the trendiest boutiques in Sydney, I've got the scoop. Let's live our best lives together, Australia

Similar Posts