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Last group of the Mate Ma’a Tonga players left Tonga this morning

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 05/12/2017


The Mate Ma’a Tonga team have all returned overseas and Tonga is beginning to return to its normal routines, but the special memories from this tournament will be hard to forget, especially with the celebration of the team upon their visit to the kingdom following the World Cup tournament.


After they were officially welcomed here in Nuku’alofa, the boys then visited their respective home towns with Konrad Hurrell, Peni Terepoo and Sam Moa traveling to Vava’u.


Reports from Radio Tonga’s Stringer in Vava’u, Filomenga Hansen said, despite the heavy rain that day, the people of Vava’u still turned out in numbers to the Lupepau’u Airport to welcome the boys, with the Governor of Vava’u, Lord Fulivai, leading the crowd.


Filomenga says, as the plane landed, the crowd tore down the gate, ignored the security and police officers and made their way to the airplane to carry the boys out.


As they were carrying the boys out from the airplane to vehicles being decorated with flags, tongan tapas and mats, and dj’s playing loud music – they were singing hymns and shouting Mate Ma’a Tonga.


They then float from the Airport through the Puataukanave Hotel, and the boys had to get off and walk on Traditional Tonga Materials that was spread on the road that was muddy and wet.


However when the boys returned back to Nuku’alofa, the crowd did the same at the airport, where they tore down the gate to say their final good bye to the boys – however when they tore down the gate, the fire truck used the fire extinguisher to spray water at the crowd to stop them.


In ‘Eua, Sione Hausia the Secretary of the Island’s council says, as the ‘Onemato was approaching the Nafanua port, small boats took off to accompany Peni Terepo.


He was welcomed by hundreds of the locals of ‘Eua at the Nafanua Port, then he led the float in the island by riding a horse through ‘Ohonua to the ‘Ekelesia Hall, where a special luncheon was held there to honor Peni Terepo and the Mate ma’a Tonga’s victories.


Meanwhile here in Nuku’alofa, a special luncheon was hosted by HSH Prince Kalaniuvalu Fotofili for Jason Taumalolo and Tuimoala Lolohea at Takuilau College.


Daniel Tupou, Mate Ma’a Tonga’s wing welcomed HRH Prince Latufuipeka Tuku’aho at the Fua’amotu International airport then continue to a float parade led him and his family from Pea and ‘Utulau.


The last group of the Mate Ma’a Tonga players left Nuku’alofa this morning.

© Radio and Television Tonga News