I had mixed emotions after the game in Hamilton on Saturday night, with the Kiwis going down to Tonga.
Yes I was disappointed, but I also had great memories come back to me of a very good mate, from my beloved Mangere East Rugby League Club, called George Mann, the founding chairman of Tongan Rugby League.
He was the Godfather. What he did to get the Tongan league of the ground was amazing. He went beyond the call of duty, so I had a tear in my eye thinking of George, who passed away several years ago.
I’m off to Wellington on Thursday to support the Kiwis and I just hope the capital's sports fans support the game, likewise in Christchurch, where the fans need to get behind Tonga.
Each week I do a column for three local papers here in Auckland, and there is a link to it in the newsletter. I think it’s a good read, so take the time to have a look.
My Kiwis are down but not out. In 2004 in the Tri-Nations we lost 28-26 to Aussie, then Gt Britain beat us 38-12. We still made the final and beat Australia 24-0. How do I know? Because I was the football manager on that tour.
So don’t write our boys off. They can come back and still win this. GO THE KIWIS!
Sir Peter Charles Leitch KNZM QSM
Chief NZ Ambassador for Rugby League World Cup 2017 Download