The Moana Pasifika match this Friday has been postponed due to a COVID-19 breakout in the Melbourne Force team.
This was Moana Pasifika’s first journey out of New Zealand in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.
Moana Pasifika’s trip to Australia was off to a good start with the visit of the Prime Minister of Tonga, Siaosi Sovaleni, to the team headquarters at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland.
However, a day later positive cases from the Force camp led organisers to postpone the game in Melbourne.
The team is set to miss its fourth match due to COVID-19, having already missed three in New Zealand.
All other matches will go ahead as scheduled. Moana Pasifika has won only one of their last eight games.
Despite the setback and another round missed, the spirit in the camp was high amidst well wishes from Tongans for their help in raising funds after the volcanic eruptions on January 15.
Moana Pasifika’s support base comes from Samoa and Tonga. Of the 38 contracted players, 14 are from Tonga and seven are members of the national rugby side, ‘Ikale Tahi’.
“You have done an outstanding job, and I wanted to congratulate you on what you have done. For all those who supported the Ofa Atu Tonga relief fund organised by Moana Pasifika, malo,” Mr Sovaleni said.
He showed appreciation to the team for being part of another initiative that would help with recovery in Tonga.