Coco Talanoa — Sports / Page 1
Big Impact: Papua New Guinea players leaving their mark on British rugby league
“There’s only three common denominators in this country. One is God. Two is Tok Pisin, the language we all speak. Three is rugby league.” So powers the opening voiceover to the Power Meri documentary.
The prominence of rugby league is not in doubt – famously it is the only sovereign nation in the world in which it is the national sport (the only other country to share this accolade is the Cook Islands).
As London Broncos and international prop Wellington Albert puts it, “Every little boy and girl will play around, with a Coca-Cola bottle as a rugby ball sometimes, playing on the backyard or on any field available. We grow up playing rugby league, and that’s where we started falling in love with the greatest game of all.”
His teammate for club and country, Emmanuel ‘Manu’ Waine, echoed that sentiment, particularly the pride fans have for the national team. “When PNG is playing against other nations, the backing in our country, everybody gets behind it and supports it.…more
Fiji Coca Cola Games | Keepin It Fresh
Welcome to the biggest high school athletics event in the Southern Hemisphere!
This is Fiji's CocaCola Games. A electric event filled with competition, chants and island energy that is unmatched. We kick it with the student athletes, school alumni, cheerleaders and coaches, as they bring to life one of the most lively days in Suva!
Keepin It Fresh brings you all the freshness happening in our Moana communities, from Siva Afi Festivals to Pacific Cabarets.
Director - Elizabeth Koroivulaono
Editor - Laura McBeath
DOP - Hayden Aull
Sound - Felix Biuwale, Elton Varoumue
Extra Footage - FBC Tv, Fiji TV, MAI TV
Thank you to Lawrence Tikaram & Elton Varoumue
A FUTURE STAR FOR SAMOAN RUGBY - PITONE ASAFO
Written by Va’ai Nah Folasa | Blu TV
Last week the Prime Minister’s Championship tournament was held over 2 days at the St Joseph’s field at Lotopa. The competition drew teams from all educational districts of Samoa.
This year the tournament took a slightly different format with out of town teams being billeted at different host schools where they were provided with accommodation and food for the duration of the competition. This initiative by the Minister for Education saved parents of players the cost of hotel accommodation and also meant that the teams were housed together and cared for by fellow schools.
Blu-wave has reported this event as part of its presentations last week. However, one story has come to light which captures the spirit not only of this school boy competition, but of rugby Samoa.
Pitone Asafo is a 12 year old boy from the village of Falealupo, Savaii. Proud son of Asafo and Nina, young Pitone was the winger for the U14 team for the District of Itu Asau which eventually won the Spoon.…more
NFL Draft Day with Tuli Tuipulotu behind the scenes
Life changing Moments ...
“With the 54th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chargers select Tuli Tuipulotu”
He was the first of our Pasifika players to be drafted this year and his cousin Anna Vea has shared a glimpse behind the scenes as Tuli and his family gather to hear his name called.
He was joined by 49ers Safety Talanoa Hufanga, his older brother Marlon (who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles), parents, grandma and other famili.
After his name was called the family gathered for a himi and lotu to give thanks. We love to see it.
Photos & Video from Anna Vea
Sports Talk: 2023 NFL Draft Pasifika Edition
The 2023 NFL draft went down this weekend from the 28th - 30th April NZT and it was a historic weekend for Pasifika players with ten players of Pasifika heritage drafted into the National Football League. Check out all of their profiles below -
Keilani Mayo and Queenie Taua'a are Digital Content creators for Island City Media Group in the USA and joined Penina at the beginning of the weekend to help break down the 2023 NFL draft.
This year looked to have had the largest group of Pasifika athletes who declared for the draft (peep the list in Polynesian Music X Island City's post below) so the ladies gave us their mock drafts on who they think may get picked up in the first 3 rounds, their tips for watching & what happens to players who don't get picked up in the draft ...…more
NFL Draft Day throwback - Marcus Mariota
Samoan NFL player Marcus Mariota was drafted in the 2015 NFL draft - the second overall pick in the first round by the Tennessee Titans.
He made history becoming the highest drafted NFL player of Pasifika heritage ever.
The second highest drafted Polynesian was Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson who was the first quarterback selected in the 1979 NFL Draft, taken third overall by the Cincinnati Bengals, and played there for four years, which included the Super Bowl season in 1981.
Fellow Quaterback Tua Tagovailoa and Hall of Fame Linebacker Junior Seau are the third highest drafted NFL players both beeing drafted with the fifth overall pick in the first round.
Here we take a look back at his draft day with the family ...
Beats by Dre worked with Marcus who was predicted to be selected early in the draft and in the days leading up to the draft they showed a side of Mariota's personal life in his hometown that most people don't get to see.…more
Next Goal Wins - Official Trailer
Check out the trailer for Taika Waititi's 'Next Goal Wins' in theatres on November 17th.
Directed by Academy Award Winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok), NEXT GOAL WINS follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001.
With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around in this heartfelt underdog comedy.
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss, Oscar Kightley, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, Kaimana, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Chris Alosio, Taika Waititi, Will Arnett, Rhys Darby
Junior Tafa Knockouts
On Sunday 23rd April NZT, Samoan Heavyweight MMA fighter Junior Tafa will make his UFC debut at UFC Vegas Fight Night 71, in the meantime check out some of his KO artistry from his kickboxing days.
Junior is the youngest of three brothers - his older brother Justin is currently fighting in the Heavyweight division in the UFC where he debuted in 2019 & they are both trained by their oldest brother Gerard. Their grandfather & uncles were also champion boxers.
#Watch Justin Tafa's story -
The 26yr old has had an impressive career in Kickboxing starting his fight career in the Glory Kickboxing promorion when he was only 17yrs old
Legendary fighter Mark Hunt then recruited Junior to be a sparring partner with him and had the opportunity to travel with him on many of his training camps around the wold including Vegas.
“Just through being part of Mark’s setup I’ve benefited so much, being able to train with top level guys like Uriah Hall and Travis Browne.…more
Sports Talk with Samoan UFC Heavyweight fighter Justin Tafa
Samoan UFC Heavyweight fighter Justin Tafa joined our Coco Correspondent Suluafi Brianna for a Tiny Mic interview at his Junior Rugby League club in Auckland.
He gives us his UFC287 predictions, plays a round of This or That and shares what song he usually hypes himself up to on Fight Night - Hint: it’s a RSA Band song but can you guess which one?
Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air
LaVar Ball in Auckland, New Zealand
The Big Baller Brand CEO and entrepreneur LaVar Ball (you may also recognise him as NBA/NBL stars Lonzo, LaMelo & LiAngelo's father) is in Samoa at the moment to run basketball clinics, check out the talent there and experience the 685.
We caught up with him for a Tiny Mic interview while he was here in Auckland, plus talked to Vince Harder who was facilitating the NZ leg of the tour as well as a couple of the 92Wrld boys who are helping out.
You can catch Lavar in Samoa Wednesday 5th April at Tuanaimato Gym from 1-5pm for Basketball clinics and tomorrow Thursday 6th April for the 3x3 comps & showcase.
Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air