The voices of the community have been heard! After great feedback from the community about the Fa’aleo Tupi Cup concept, the Queensland Tonga Rugby Union committee has decided to honour the community’s wishes to include a finals series in this year inaugural Fa’aleo Tupi Cup, held on Saturday August 15th at the Norths Rugby Union club.
A credit to the TRC Warriors cultural understanding and sensitivities, they have graciously and humbly stepped aside to allow for this to happen and the Queensland Tonga Rugby Union is grateful for the organisation’s understanding to put the wishes of the Tongan community first and foremost.
The amended draw will see each of the three foundation teams go head to head in round robin play under the Kings and Queens of Pacific Rugby tournament rules of 20 minute halves, while the women will go head to head in a best of three under the 10 a side format. The multiple games will give selectors a look at players playing in conditions similar to the KQPR tournament and will hopefully allow them to choose the best men and women’s team to represent the Tongan community.
The men’s section of the draw has been formulated where all three foundation teams have been seeded. Taking a number of factors into consideration Alamuhu has been seeded first, North Barbarian Tongans second and Logan Inala third.
In recognition of Alamuhu’s top seeding they will get the most rest during the round robin stages, followed by North Tongan Barbarians and then the Logan Inala Tongans. However, the great thing about the seeding process is that if Logan Inala Tonga can earn the right to progress into the Grand Final the balance then swings in their favour, as they would have earned substantially more rest time than the higher seeded teams above them.
As the second seeded team, the Northside Tongan Barbarians enjoy the best of both worlds, the benefit of a high seed as well as the consequences of a low seed. The benefit of playing second but also the consequence of the quick turnaround in their two round robin games, if they earn the right to a Grand Final the sky blue and maroon boys will have to do so playing back to back to back. But, however it pans out, each team will have to deal with unique challenges to get to earn the right to be known as the premier Tongan team in Queensland which should make for some captivating rugby.
Queensland Tonga Rugby Union’s commitment to the wider community continues with all teams permitted to play players from outside the Tongan community to give them an opportunity to experience the beauty, uniqueness and camaraderie of the Tongan culture. For the men, a maximum of 3 players in each team, whilst the women will be permitted to select up to 40% non Tongans taking into consideration the developing status of female rugby union in the Tongan and wider community.
The tournament is only 2 weeks away and will be a celebration of all things Tongan. The amended draw will ensure the entertainment on the field will well and truly match the entertainment off it. Spread the word, Queensland Tongan village rugby is back, and back for good.