05-06-2023 Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS Podcast, S05E63 #TeivovoSports #TeivovoDigital #TeivovoRugby



Talofa, Ma’lele’i, Bula and welcome to Season 05 Episode 63 of Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS PODCAST, by TeivovoSports.com – a wrap of Pasifika people’s sports news on a bright and sunny Monday morning 05 June 2023.

Coming to you with tons of hanisi from the 180th meridian, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 

Talofa, Ma’lele’i, Bula and welcome to Season 05 Episode 63 of Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS PODCAST, by TeivovoSports.com – a wrap of Pasifika people’s sports news on a bright and sunny Monday morning 05 June 2023.

Coming to you with tons of hanisi from the 180th meridian, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

In rugby union

After their 41-17 drubbing of the Reds on Saturday in Suva, all the talk around the tanoa is about how many local players will force their way into the Flying Fijians for the Rugby World Cup in France starting in less than 99 days?

First name on the list Smokin’ Jo Tamani, followed by . ..

More on my selection at the end of this podcast!

In rugby league

Semi Valemei had a club debut to remember as the Wing scored a hat-trick to go with 144M run, six tackle busts and two linebreaks for the Cowboys who stunned the Melbourne Storm 20-45 in an emphatic win at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville to snap a two-game losing skid.

It was the most points the Cowboys have scored over the Storm and the most Melbourne had given up since 2003, leaving Coach Craig Bellamy with a very sore head.

The Panthers hung on for a gutsy 26-18 win over the Dragons last night, but they lost Nathan Cleary in the 16th minute of the game to a hamstring injury which will likely keep the NSW Blues State of Origin star out of ORIGIN II on 21 June.

You gotta ask why – why was Cleary even playing just four days after ORIGIN I?

In football

Veteran AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimović has retired from football at the end of an emotional night at San Siro on Sunday.

Ibrahimović is out of contract with the Serie A club at the end of the season and Milan had already announced there would be a special ceremony after its match against Hellas Verona to bid farewell to the 41-year-old Swede.

He was given a guard of honor by his teammates as he walked out and struggled to hold back the tears as he took the microphone and said: “The time has come to say goodbye to soccer but not to you.”

Ibrahimović scored 93 goals in 163 appearances over two spells at Milan. He returned in January 2020 and helped Milan win the Serie A title last year – his second league trophy with the Rossoneri.

But he has struggled with injuries and only made four appearances this season, after undergoing a knee operation last year.

“I have so many memories and emotions inside this stadium,” Ibrahimović said. “The first time I arrived you gave me happiness, the second time you gave me love.

“I want to thank my family … I want to thank my second family: the players. I want to thank the coach and his staff for the responsibility, I want to thank the directors for the opportunity.

Last but not least, from my heart, I want to thank you fans.”

He also enjoyed trophy-laden spells at Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Juventus and Ajax, having started his career with hometown club Malmo.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic made 122 appearances for Sweden, scoring 62 goals.

In SportsBiz

The South Australia Government paid the NRL millions of dollars to host ORIGIN for the second time in four years, after also hosting in 2020, but they’ve failed to sell-out the game.

ORIGIN has also been taken to Perth and Melbourne in recent years, but New South Wales – okay Sydney, hasn’t hosted two games in a series since 2016.

The top brass in the NRL are talking up a big game taking the NRL to Vegas – seriously, can it even grow beyond Australia?

In boxing: Jared Anderson – remember the name, because once all the current crop of top heavyweight boxers in the world stop running and chasing crazy big cash fights, which never seem to happen, they’re going to have to face their worst nightmare and fight the American Anderson, who is 14 from 14 with all 14 KOs.

As Marvin Gaye famously said, “Let’s get it on.”

Background Buzz

Okay sports fans on “Background Buzz” today I am going to name my Fijian Drua players who I think can make the Flying Fijians squad to the Rugby World Cup in France starting on Friday 08 September 2023.

So, apart from the Fiji Rugby Union being declared illegal and disbanded by the Attorney General of Fiji, all the directors forced to resign and the Annual General Meeting cancelled, the RWC2023 is on in less than 99 days!

Oh and the FRU is, er . . . probably technically insolvent!

Thankfully Fiji Water is sponsoring the Flying Fijians RWC2023 campaign to the tune of $3.8Million.

Rugby House estimates are, that the RWC2023 campaign will cost F$6M so everyone expects . . er the government to pick up the $2.2M difference.

So here goes; everything is normal in rugby in Fiji – seriously when you think about what has been achieved so far this year against the shambolic disaster at Rugby House, it is truly quite amazing – miraculous some would say:

·       The Fijiana Drua has won the Super W Championship in Australia for the second year in a row!

·       The Fijian Drua has qualified for a Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final in only their second year in the comp.

·       On the way, they claimed the scalps of some serious southern hemisphere rugby powerhouses in – the Reds, the Hurricanes and the Crusaders!

·       The Fiji Mens 7s team has qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024 and the Fiji Women’s 7s team will also shortly do so.

·       Our Fiji Women’s XVs team played very well in their first ever Women’s RWC in New Zealand late last year.

So back to my selection; the Flying Fijians squad marches into camp in July for their Pacific Nations Cup games against Tonga in Lautoka on 22 July, followed by Manu Samoa in Apia on 29 July and a Test in Tokyo against the Cherry Blossoms a week later.

After this, they will return to Fiji, where Head Coach, Simon Raiwalui and his assistants will name their final RWC2023 squad of 33 players.

My 15 Fijian Drua players who I feel can make this squad are:

  • Props: Haereiti Hetet and Samuela Tawake
  • Hookers: Mesulame Dolokoto and Tevita Ikanivere                
  • Lock: Isoa Nasilasila                             
  • Back row: Ratu Meli Derenalagi, Kitione Salawa and Joseva Tamani who is equally good in the second row 
  • Scrumhalf: Frank Lomani and Peni Matawalu             
  • Flyhalf: Caleb Muntz and Teti Tela      
  • Centre: Iosefo Masi                           
  • Back three: Kalaveti Ravouvou and Selesitino Ravutaumada  

One more thing – I feel it would be a very smart move, as well as very deserving, for Simon and the FRU to invite Mick Byrne into the Flying Fijians coaching team as an assistant, even if just as a consultant.

Mick Byrne is a very big reason why this Fijian Drua team is in the Super Rugby Pacific quarter finals in only its second year – as such, he is probably the Super Rugby Pacific Coach of the Year!

And that’s a wrap!

For TEIVOVOsports.com I’m Culden Kamea – Mahalo, vinaka and thank you. Please hit the subscribe button below if you would like to receive more Pasifika sports highlights on Breakfast Bites. And tank you all too mas for all your love and support.  

Mahalo, vina’a and tank you all too mass for all your love and support.

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