Pacific Challenge

Last updated
1996 (1996) Pacific Challenge  ()
Number of teams7
Matches played8
 < 1994
1997 > 

The 1996 Pacific Challenge was a rugby league tournament held between Pacific teams. The tournament was played over eight days and in six countries. It featured an uneven draw with every team playing twice, except for Tonga and the New Zealand XIII side who both played three times, and no final.

Rugby league team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

Tonga national rugby league team Tonga national rugby league team

The Tonga national rugby league team represents Tonga in rugby league football. They are currently the 4th ranked team in the world, and the highest ranked tier-two nation. The team was formed to compete in the 1986 Pacific Cup, and have competed at five Rugby League World Cups, starting in 1995 and continuing consecutively until the most recent tournament in 2017, where they achieved their best ever result as semi-finalists, and on the 11th of November, 2017 in the small nations final pool game of the World Cup, Tonga famously upset New Zealand at FMG Stadium, Waikato with David Fusitu'a scoring a match-sealing try on the 76th minute to make the score 28-22 with 4 minutes to go, in the final play the Kiwis had a chance to steal it but the ball was knocked-on (fumbled/dropped) by Dallin Watene-Zelezniak just seconds before Fulltime with the final score being 28-22, Tonga winning.

Contents

Background

The tournament was a hastily arranged replacement for the cancelled 1996 Pacific Cup which eventually took place as the 1997 Oceania Cup. [1] The tournament was held during the Superleague war that was severely affecting international rugby league at this time.

Pacific Cup

The Pacific Cup is a rugby league football competition for national teams from the Pacific region.

The 1997 Oceania Cup was an international rugby league football tournament played in the Pacific region. The tournament was operated and contested by Super League-aligned countries during the Super League war as an alternative to the Pacific Cup.

Squads

Sonny Shepherd is a Cook Island former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s, and 2000s. He played at representative level for Cook Islands, and at club level for Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles.

Richard Piakura is a Cook Island former high jumper, professional rugby league and rugby union footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. He played representative level rugby league (RL) for the Cook Islands, and at club level for Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles, and representative level rugby union (RU) for the Cook Islands at rugby sevens.

Cameron Bell is a New Zealand rugby league coach. He is a member of the famous Bell rugby league family that includes George, Ian, Dean and Cathy and Clayton Friend.

Results

3 July 1996
Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg14 – 8Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands
3 July 1996
Māori  Tino Rangatiratanga Maori sovereignty movement flag.svg28 – 18Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga
3 July 1996
New Zealand XIII Flag of New Zealand.svg 21 – 6Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea
6 July 1996
Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg34 – 16 Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand XIII
6 July 1996
Western Samoa  Flag of Samoa.svg16 – 39Tino Rangatiratanga Maori sovereignty movement flag.svg  Māori
International Stadium, Apia, Western Samoa
8 July 1996
Papua New Guinea  Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg56 - 19Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga
10 July 1996
Cook Islands  Flag of the Cook Islands.svg4 – 16 Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand XIII
Tereora National Stadium, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
10 July 1996
Tonga  Flag of Tonga.svg22 – 17Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa
Tefuaiwa Stadium, Nukuʻalofa, Tonga

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References

  1. John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. ISBN   9781869693312.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Pacific Challenge The Vault