Sports

Pacific Players Playing the Super Bowl 2023

This years NFL Super Bowl is between The Philadelphia Eagles and The Kansas City Chiefs. Amongst these two teams are a group of islanders holding it down for their teams in the biggest American Football event of the year.

Here are Pasifika players you'll be able to spot in Super Bowl LVII on Monday 13th 12.30pm NZDT: 

* NB These are just the Pacific island players on the actual playing roster who are likely to be in the run on teams on Super Bowl Sunday.  We haven't included players in the reserves or training squads

Jordan Mailata

Team: The Philadelphia Eagles

Position: Offensive Tackle

Lafoga Jordan Mailata is a Samoan offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was born and raised in Australia where he previously played rugby league. He joined the NFL via the league's International Player Pathway Program. He was selected in the 7th round, 233rd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 NFL Draft, despite having no prior football experience.

You may also recognise his face from FOX's The Masked Singer.…more


Sports

MOANA PASIFIKA - Media Day

We catch up with a few of the Moana Pasifika boys at Moana Pasifika HQ for Media Day ahead of the start of their Super Rugby season.

They share what music they listen to before a game, who their childhood rugby hero was, which player they're most looking forward to tackling, their favourite island food and more ...

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ICYMI Sky have also announced a partnership with Moana Pasifika to enable reach and build connections into Pasifika communities including creating content and products to engage Moana Pasifika fans both in NZ and worldwide.  They're also keen to support community initiatives.

The shared content creation initiatives will enable the partners to tell authentic Pasifika stories, and for Moana Pasifika content to be available across Sky’s ecosystem (including some free-to-air on Prime).


Sports

The 2023 Eddie Aikau - Biggest Waves Of My Life: Zeke Lau

Known as the “Super Bowl of surfing,” the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational was held for the first time since 2016 in Hawaii over the weekend, as organizers said an estimated 50,000 people were packed on the beach to watch.

This also marked just the 10th time the event has ever been held due to the tournament’s rules which require open-ocean swells to reach a minimum height of 20 feet before it can commence.

The tournament also featured women for the first time ever.

The format saw athletes surfing two rounds of five heats each - each surfer could ride a maximum of four waves in each round.

After eight hours of intense action, the wave of the day award went to native Hawaiian pro surfer Zeke Lau - catch his highlights from the experience in the video above.

Ultimately, Luke Shepardson ended up taking the crown scoring a near-perfect 89.1 out of a possible 90 points, with three waves counting to the final result, and each scored out of 30.


Sports

Manti Te'o induction into Polynesian Hall Of Fame

Over the weekend former Samoan NFL player Manti Te'o was inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

His football career included a Heisman Trophy runner-up finish during his senior year at Notre Dame where he won a number of individual awards including the Maxwell Trophy and his journey was recently told in the Netflix 'Untold' series.  

Te'o was enshrined along with 11 year NFL veteran Mike Iupati, a two time All Pro guard and four time Pro Bowler.

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He spoke with NFL journalist Steve Wyche here ahead of the induction weekend - watch the video above and the full interview via NFL Total access here 


Sports

Can Rugby players make it in the NFL?

Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck is a massive NFL fan and also grew up playing rugby most of his life.

He decides to ruffle a few feathers and breaks down whether he thinks a rugby player could make it in the NFL or not ... 


Sports

Sports Talk: Joseph Parker talks upcoming fight with Jack Massey

Former WBO heavyweight world champion Lupesoliai Joseph Parker will fight live on New Zealand free-to-air television for the first time on January 22, with Warner. Bros Discovery ANZ having secured the broadcast rights to screen the kiwi slugger’s fight against local hero ‘One Smack’ Jack Massey in Manchester, on TV Three.

The Samoan fighter will be looking to get himself back into title contention with a win in Manchester.

“I’m going to smash him,” Parker said of his looming bout with Massey, an elite cruiserweight who will be stepping up to heavyweight for the first time.

“He’s got big balls I’ll give him that,” said Parker. “But there are divisions in boxing for a reason. I’m going to be the bigger man. I’m going to fight like the bigger man, back him up and push him back. I’m going to make him think about if he really wants to be in the heavyweight division.”

Parker had the chance to eyeball local hero Massey at an open workout at Manchester’s Trafford Centre Shopping Complex on Wednesday.…more


Sports

Manu Samoa 7s enter the NZ leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series as the top seed for the first time ever

By Thomas Airey 

Never have the Manu Samoa 7s entered a New Zealand leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series as the top seed until this weekend, the 21st and possibly last ever tournament in Hamilton.

Not even the all-conquering 2010 world champions earned that honour – Stephen Betham’s side stumbled at the quarterfinal stage in South Africa before the Wellington event.

That is the unprecedented level at which current coach Muliagatele Brian Lima has his young team performing.

Not only did they win their first tournament title since May 2016 last month in Cape Town, Samoa haven’t missed the quarterfinals of a World Series leg since he took over.

During the four year reign of legendary coach Sir Gordon Tietjens, the Manu made the top eight 11 times in 34 attempts.

Muliagatele was appointed after Tietjens’ contract expired in August 2020.

He gave Samoa’s local veteran players the chance to prove themselves and make his squad, but right from the start looked to rebuild for future success.…more


Sports

FINA President visits Pacific Islands with Olympic swimming stars Ian Thorpe & Cate Campbell

Recently FINA President Captain Husain Al-Musallam from Kuwait along with FINA executives and Olympic multi-medalist swimmers Ian Thorpe and Cate Campbell from Australia visited Palau, Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands (Rarotonga & Aitutaki) for the first time.

The purpose of the visit was to raise the profile of swimming and look at ways they can help develop swimming as a sport throughout the Pacific region.  Included in this are plans to launch the Swim For All Programme plus help with building facilities in the island nations for training in the sport.  On their visit it was announced Tonga will be getting a new pool next year and the Cook Islands are currently in the development stages for theirs.…more


Sports

Toa Samoa Welcome Home Parade - Brisbane

Almost 3 weeks after Toa Samoa played their Grand Final game against Australia at the Rugby League World Cup in Manchester, UK, the last of the welcome home parades in Australia took place in Brisbane on the 10th of December.  

The week before, Sydney based players had also attended a similar welcome home parade in Mt Druitt  which featured NZ based singers Tree Vaifale and husband Swiss.…more


Sports

Hang Out with Juju on Gameday - Juju Smith Schuster

Samoan NFL player Juju Smith-Schuster takes us behind the scenes with him as he gets ready on a typical game day with his new team the Kansas City Chiefs.

He recently gave the gift of Christmas to more than 50 families at a special event on Monday.  Smith-Schuster and his foundation paid off almost $10,000 in layaways at a Kansas City-area Burlington store.

Read more on the story here