Mate Ma‘a Tonga players to receive royal award from King Tupou VI

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The Mate Ma’a Tonga rugby league players will be honoured and awarded the Royal Orders in recognition of their great achievements during Rugby League World Cup tournament 2017.

In a letter to President Sēmisi Sika of the Tonga Rugby League Association, the royal Chamberlain said: “I wish to inform that His Majesty The King has been pleased to invest the MMT players with an award of the Royal Orders in recognition of their contribution to sports.

The Investiture Ceremony is now planned to be held on Wednesday 29th November 2017 at the Royal Palace at 4.30 pm and to be followed by Refreshments until 6.30 p.m.”

Tonga’s chance to a place in the Rugby League World Cup final 2017 and to become the first Pacific nation to do so has been marred by the controversial decision by the referee who refereed its semi final game against England last Saturday.

As Kaniva News reported on Saturday, “Tongan fans will always believe that the Mate Ma’a won tonight’s game.

No matter that the referee had blown the whistle for full time, fans will know in their hearts that Andrew Fifita’s last minute try should have given them the victory they deserved.”

Tonga’s victory against New Zealand 28-22 during the rugby world cup marked the first time in history a tier-two nation had knocked off one of the big three in international rugby league.

The Mate Ma’a Tonga players achievement  was the kingdom’s greatest ever sporting achievement in international level.

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