19-05-2023 Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS Podcast, S05E46 #TeivovoSports #TeivovoDigital #TeivovoRugby



Talofa, Ma’lele’i, Bula and welcome to Season 05 Episode 46 of Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS PODCAST, by TeivovoSports.com – a wrap of Pasifika people’s sports news on a sunny and bright Friday morning 19 May 2023.

Talofa, Ma’lele’i, Bula and welcome to Season 05 Episode 46 of Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS PODCAST, by TeivovoSports.com – a wrap of Pasifika people’s sports news on a sunny and bright Friday morning 19 May 2023.

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

In rugby

Twickenham hosts the London 7s from tomorrow, the final tournament of the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series 2023 where New Zealand will be crowned Series Champions and the last qualification spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be decided with Australia holding a nine-point cushion over Samoa and South Africa.

More on rugby and the power of sports in my new background buzz segment at the end.

In rugby league

The Panthers bashed the Broncos 4-15 on the back of another masterclass from Nathan Cleary to jump Brisbane on the NRL ladder after a frantic start to Indigenous Round.

Cleary was superb with 101M run, six tackle busts, three offloads, two linebreaks, a try and a field goal to break Broncos fans hearts.

In football

So Erling Haaland didn’t score, but Man City overwhelmed Real Madrid in Manchester yesterday with Bernardo Silva scoring a double, Akanji and Alvarez adding two more for a four nil drubbing of Real Madrid. Pep G’s men march on to the UEFA Champions League grand-final against Italian champions Inter Milan.

In the NBA

YouTube TV subscribers missed the conclusion of the Miami Heat’s 123-116 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals yesterday.

The Heat came back from an early deficit and were fending off the Celtics late in the fourth quarter when viewers began experiencing issues with the broadcast streaming service.

In SportsBiz

The richest athletes in the world are still getting richer. The Forbes list of 50 highest-paid athletes collectively made US$3.4Billion on and off the field over the last 12 months, representing a 16% increase from their record haul a year ago.

Not surprisingly, football’s attacking trident leads the top-10 list of Forbes highest-paid athletes with Cristiano Ronaldo on US$136Million, Lionel Messi US$130M and Kylian Mbappé US$120M. LeBron James at US$119M is the richest American athlete in the Top 10.

In boxing

Kiwi-Nigerian UFC superstar, Israel Adesanya expects to fight Robert Whittaker for the UFC Middleweight title in Sydney this September, and wants their trilogy showdown to be held outdoors at an NRL stadium.

In a huge boost for Australian fight fans, UFC293 has been confirmed for Sydney on 10 September – although a venue to be confirmed.

Only last month UFC Prez Dana White said Adesanya would headline the Sydney blockbuster, with his opponent to be determined by an upcoming eliminator between Whittaker and South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis.

Background Buzz

Okay sports fans, on “Background Buzz” today, I take a closer look at a good news sports story from New Zealand, where jailed former New Zealand Warriors Wing, Manu Vatuvei will hopefully return to his old club in the player “wellbeing department” if he is released on parole.

The 37-year-old Tongan international was sentenced to three years and seven months imprisonment in March last year after he admitted his role in a drug ring.

Alongside his brother Lopini Mafi, who was sentenced to seven years and two months, the pair imported just over 2kg of methamphetamine in an “unsophisticated” operation.

Vatuvei played 226 games for the Warriors and 29 Tests.

But now Vatuvei is set to return to his New Zealand club according to Stuff.co.nz, following a hearing in front of the Parole Board on Wednesday.

All going well, Vatuvei will be released from prison on 31 May, with standard and special conditions in place until October 2025.

During his parole hearing, Vatuvei’s lawyer Vivienne Feyen said her client’s “losses left him with a life that was emptied of what he cherished”.

The Parole Board was also informed of the New Zealand Warriors’ plans to have Vatuvei mentor players coming through their Club ranks.

“He has an insight into the pressures from the media and the personal life struggles and pitfalls,” Feyen said.

New Zealand Warriors Chief Executive Officer, Cameron George also confirmed he would return to the Club, “Yes he’s done wrong and made mistakes, he’s paid for that. Our position now is being a part of his rehabilitation and hopefully his story can have a positive impact on some of our young aspiring athletes,” George said.

Vatuvei will once again face the Parole Board in November for a progress hearing, with conditions in place he must follow.

The former Wing must reside at a set address, not contact any gang members or his brother and not consume or possess drugs and alcohol.

This story cuts close to the heart for me – going way back to 1994, just two years after rugby league was established in Fiji, and Papua New Guinea – celebrating 40 years of the game being played there, invited the Fiji Bati to play them in Port Moresby.

After picking our Fiji squad and applying for Visas to transit through Brisbane airport to PNG, we were shocked when the application for two players were rejected.

We appealed directly to the Australian High Commissioner, Susan Boyd for help, only to be stunned and stumped by the revelations that one of the rejected applicants had 52 previous convictions starting with manslaughter and the other one had among other charges, a conviction for armed bank robbery!

Thankfully, we managed to fly them to Port Moresby through the Solomon Islands and to cut a long story short, having represented their country and shed tears standing shoulder to shoulder alongside their Fiji Bati brothers for the Fiji national anthem, both players came back reformed men, never committing another crime and playing many more Tests for Fiji at home and eventually in New Zealand and Australia.

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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