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05:35 Samoa vs Tonga match preview: Battle of the big fellas

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  • Samoa vs Tonga match preview: Battle of the big fellas

    1 November 2017 5:35 AM 42

    As we enter Week 2 of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, one game in particular jumps out at me as the obvious gem among this week’s contests. This match promises to be both an entertaining and brutal affair. And if history is anything to go by, it will go down to the wire. Based on form and results in the previous round, Tonga will go into this one as deserved

  • Four arrested in disorder involving rugby league fans

    1 November 2017 4:09 AM 14

    Police are calling on rugby league fans to be responsible following reports of disorder and people acting dangerously. There has been a huge presence, particularly in the South Auckland suburb of Otahuhu, over the last few days, where droves of Tongan fans have been celebrating their national team taking part in the Rugby League World Cup. Although the celebrations

  • Tensions between Pacific rivals Tonga, Samoa rise with four fans arrested in Auckland

    1 November 2017 3:46 AM 3

    FOUR Tongan rugby league supporters have reportedly been arrested in Auckland as tensions between the Pacific island nation and rivals Samoa rise ahead of their RLWC blockbuster in the nearby city of Hamilton this Saturday. The Tongan fans were involved in a clash with Samoan fans, with the arrests following the emergence of a video showing a street

  • Tensions rise among Tongan, Samoan league fans

    1 November 2017 2:22 AM 10

    Samoan and Tongan rugby league fans have been caught on camera in a mass brawl that blocked a South Auckland street. Simmering tension between the rival fans has led to Samoan boxing legend David Tua making a public plea for peace ahead of the two countries squaring off in the Rugby League World Cup in Hamilton this Sunday. Video footage has emerged

  • 2018 Super Rugby squads: New Zealand franchises unveil team lists

    1 November 2017 12:06 AM 11

    New Zealand's five Super Rugby franchises have each unveiled their squads ahead of the 2018 season, when the competition will revert to a three-conference, 15-team structure. Check out the the five squads below and stay across ESPN throughout the offseason as we await news on the playing personnel across the South African and Australian conferences

  • Ugly scenes in Auckland as Tongan and Samoan league fans clash

    31 October 2017 11:38 PM 9

    Ugly scenes have broken out in Auckland as mobs of rugby league fans roamed the streets ahead of Tongan and Samoan match this weekend. Footage on social media shows groups of youths clashing in Otahuhu. Draped in their national flags, the fans chant and challenge each other, before what appears to be a violent brawl breaks out. Another video shows a young

  • Super Rugby squads: Famous name back in the Crusaders

    31 October 2017 9:33 PM 10

    Tasman loosie Ethan Blackadder, son of former Crusaders coach Todd, has been included in the Super Rugby champion's 2018 squad. The other debutants include Canterbury openside Billy Harmon and halfback Jack Stratton. Braydon Ennor and Will Jordan both debuted in the Mitre 10 Cup this season, for Canterbury and Tasman respectively, and have been named

  • Ex-Bath head coach Tabai Matson lands role with Chiefs

    31 October 2017 5:05 PM 10

    Former Bath head coach Tabai Matson has landed an assistant's role with New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs. Matson, 44, stepped down from his Bath role earlier this season for family reasons. And he has now been appointed to the Hamilton-based Chiefs' coaching team headed up by Colin Cooper. "Unfortunately, it was illness in my family that drew me back to New Zealand

  • Size matters as Ireland bid falls short in stadia and cities

    31 October 2017 4:08 PM 8

    Comparative scoring under ‘Venue and Cities’ plays big part in Ireland’s low score Whatever way you look at it, Tuesday’s recommendation by the board of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) that South Africa host the 2023 tournament comes as a hugely disappointing and damaging blow to the Irish bid. Whether it was based on misguided optimism or not, Ireland began

  • Big blow to Irish bid for Rugby World Cup as report recommends South Africa

    31 October 2017 4:08 PM

    Comparative scoring under ‘Venue and Cities’ plays big part in Ireland’s low score Whatever way you look at it, Tuesday’s recommendation by the board of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) that South Africa host the 2023 tournament comes as a hugely disappointing and damaging blow to the Irish bid. Whether it was based on misguided optimism or not, Ireland began