Congratulations to our own Vodafone Warriors staff member Georgia Hale, who has been named captain of the Kiwi Ferns for today’s clash (Wednesday) against Papua New Guinea.
The Ferns have has two solid wins so far and victory today will see them top Pool A and play the runner-up in Pool B on Sunday in their semi-final.
Meanwhile last night (Tuesday), there was a massive turnout of Tongan fans at SkyCity for a Fan Zone with their team. The place was pumping.
On Saturday night I believe we will see the biggest crowd at Mt Smart in ages, when 30,000 mostly Tongans fans will pack the stadium. It will be an incredible atmosphere and I can not wait.
Do everything you possibly can to be there because you will not regret it, the experience is just wonderful.
There will be a few England fans there, with a couple of tour parties arriving in time for the game, but England will have never experienced anything like 30,000 Tongan fans singing and praying and chanting for their team.
It is going to be so huge that Tonga’s King is coming over for the game, as is a famed Tongan entertainer named Dinah Jane, who has paid her own over from the US, just to be able to sing the Pacific Island’s national anthem.
It really is a rare opportunity to be part of something incredibly special, and we are even opening the Stacey Jones Lounge, so if you want to be there, email Tony at [email protected]
as soon as you can. There are more details in the newsletter.
There is other sporting stuff on the horizon but the rugby league world will be totally focused on this one.
You’ll note I have not mentioned the test in Wellington. Yes I was beyond disappointed, but no one died, and there are so many people bagging the NZRL and the Kiwis that I am not about to join in.
I just hope the board and chairman are able to turn things around because the game has never been as low as it is now. Everywhere I go people are just giving it to the game.
I will say it again – Saturday at Mt Smart is going to be epic, so get there for a magnificent sporting experience.
I reckon every Tongan in the North Island – and a few from further afield, come to that – will be there.
Enjoy your week, I’m going to have a ripper!
Sir Peter Charles Leitch KNZM QSM
Chief NZ Ambassador for Rugby League World Cup 2017