April 2015

Sponsors crucial to Games success

Peter Rees

Six years after successfully bidding to host the 2015 Pacific Games and three years after being given the green light from the Games Council, Papua New Guinea is scrambling to pay its bills in what is expected to be the most expensive Games ever. Estimates put the real cost of ...

March 2015

Moment of truth for top Pacific athletes

Peter Rees

Two leading Pacific athletes at opposite ends of their careers hope to put on career defining performances at the upcoming Pacific Games in Port Moresby. Hometown hero Dika Toua is aiming to cap off a brilliant 15 year career by winning weightlifting gold in her fifth consecutive Games, while Fijian ...

January 2015

Netball, rugby to dominate 2015

Peter Rees

Rugby, netball and the Pacific Games are set to dominate sporting headlines in 2015. Further afield, all eyes will be on a 21 year-old gridiron player of Samoan descent who is being hailed as the next big thing in the United States. Marcus Ardel Taulauniu Mariota made history on December ...

Pacific Sport: The best of 2014

Peter Rees
Tue 09 Dec 2014 -

It was a remarkable year for athletes of Pacific heritage in the international arena.

November 2014

Down but not out

Peter Rees

The all-Pacific final between Fiji and Samoa in the opening leg of the 2014-2015 IRB World Sevens Series on Australia’s Gold Coast was a mighty statement to the International Rugby Board. The IRB had closed an important eligibility loophole just weeks earlier that ironically would have changed the complexion of ...

September 2014

Weightlifters bring home the medals in Glasgow

Peter Rees

AS PREDICTED IN OUR JANUARY 2014 EDItion, weightlifters proved to be the Pacific’s most successful athletes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. They accounted for all eight medals won in Glasgow last month. The eight medal haul was one less than the nine medals won in Delhi four years ago, but ...

August 2014

Pacific rugby celebrates major breakthroughs

Peter Rees

Exciting times for Pacific rugby. The world champion New Zealand All Blacks will finally end their long hiatus of having never played on Samoan soil with an historic test in Apia against Manu Samoa set for July 8 next year. A Singapore-based bid which paves the way for more Pacific ...

July 2014

Australia hails its Samoan World Cup star

Peter Rees

The only Pacific islander playing in the FIFA World Cup is not only representing Australia and his Samoan heritage. He’s also holding his own against the world’s best. The likes of Christian Karembeu (New Caledonian/France) and Wynton Rufer (Maori/New Zealand) graced soccer’s flagship event in 1998 and 1982, but not ...

The ‘Olympic Games’ for Micronesia

Giff Johnson

Majuro — Twenty years ago, the only way to get a report on a Micronesian Games competition—or even just a baseball or basketball score—was to have someone ring you after a game, at a cost of $4 a minute. Suffice it to say, getting results was a challenge and sometimes ...

June 2014

Samoa-born Leapai loses fight but $1million richer

Davendra Sharma

IT was a fight doomed to favour his opponent yet Samoan-born Alex Leapai entered the world stage ring with an outside chance. He had a few die-hard optimists in his corner though – those who thought he could pull off a miracle and silence the undisputed world champion and in ...

March 2014

Leapai rallies Pacific for world fight

Davendra Sharma

That is the clear message Samoan Alex Leapai would like the boxing world to believe as he readies himself for what is deemed as the biggest fight on earth on April 27. Leapai is destined to make history not just for his native Samoa but also his adopted Australia when ...

January 2014

After the World Cup: The Fiji Bati challenge Working on maintaining its top ranking

Robert Matau

The Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) is working on taking the game to a new level that will prepare Fiji for top level competition.

October 2013

Pacific Games Council ponders changes

Peter Rees

Papua New Guinea is shaping up as the team to beat when they host the Pacific Games in 2015 after topping the medal tally at the 9th Pacific Mini Games in September.

September 2013

Adams family produces another talent

Peter Rees

A combination of their parents’ English and Polynesian genes is credited for the Adams family sporting achievements.

April 2013

Tug-of-war over Pacific talent

Peter Rees

Pacific players with dual eligibility hold the balance of power ahead of this year’s Rugby League World Cup. All eyes will be on two important matches in April—the ANZAC test between Australia and New Zealand in Canberra on 19 April and a clash between two fierce rivals, Toa Samoa and ...

July 2011

Countdown on for Pacific Games

Matai Akauola

“Athletes will be King” those are the words of Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan of Fiji as we countdown to the 14th Pacific Games to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia, from August 27-September 10, 2011.

World Cup host rolls out red carpet

Peter Rees

Ignore the political sideshows and pre-World Cup scaremongering. The possibility of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga ever hosting a Rugby World Cup maybe slim, but New Zealand hasn’t forgotten its Pacific islands neighbours as the country counts down to hosting this year’s biggest international sporting event in September.

Spotlight on islands at Rugby World Cup

Dev Nadkarni

What would New Zealand rugby be without its star players of Pacific Islands origin? For decades now, the Pacific Islands have provided Kiwi rugby teams with a continuous stream of talent that has given them an undeniable cutting edge. This has often come at a great cost to the national ...

May 2012

Cricket: A pathway for Pacific Youth

Adam Cassidy

Not many tourists associate the sport of cricket with Fiji. To most ‘outsiders,’ sport in the Pacific usually refers to rugby, or to a lesser extent football.

July 2012

Dream run for Tahiti

Koroi Hawkins

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is the smallest and weakest of FIFA’s (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) six confederations.

Weightlifting, Pacific’s only Olympic medal hope

Peter Rees

Weightlifting appears to be the Pacific’s only hope of winning a medal at the London Olympic Games which gets underway on July 27.

August 2012

Cricket: A pathway for Pacific youth

Adam Cassidy

Not many tourists associate the sport of cricket with Fiji. To most ‘outsiders,’ sport in the Pacific usually refers to rugby or to a lesser extent football.

December 2012

Tuilaepa wants Wales, Scotland, England as one

Merita Huch

From Fiji to the IRB. Now Samoa PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also president of the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU), is now focusing his attention on the IRB.

April 2012

Move aside wrestling, here comes surfing

Robert Matau

A new sport is taking Nauru by storm. It is not weightlifting which Nauruans are famous for. It is surfing and thanks to an Australian.

October 2012

Road to Rio 2016 begins for Sevens

Peter Rees

Another Olympic Games is done and dusted. The Pacific islands nations went to London in August with reasonable hopes of a medal in weightlifting. But again, our athletes returned empty-handed. Injuries, illness and questionable preparations have been blamed.