21-07-2023 Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS Podcast, S06E21 #TeivovoSports #TeivovoDigital #TeivovoRugby



Talofa, Ma’lele’i, Bula and welcome to Season 06 Episode 21 of Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS PODCAST, by people’s sports news on a bright and warm Friday morning 21 July 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 06 Episode 21 of Breakfast Bites, the FIJI & PACIFIC SPORTS NEWS PODCAST, by people’s sports news on a bright and warm Friday morning 21 July 2023.

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

In the FIFA World Cup

Hannah Wilkinson scored the only goal as co-hosts New Zealand recorded a historic 1-0 victory over Norway in the opening game of the Women’s World Cup last night.

It was the Kiwi’s first-ever win at the World Cup and came in front of more than 42,000 fans in Auckland, the biggest crowd in New Zealand football history.

While in Sydney, the Matildas opened their World Cup account with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in front of a record crowd of 75,784 at Stadium Australia.

But Aussie superstar striker, Sam Kerr will miss at least the first two games of the tournament with a calf strain.

Today Nigeria vs Canada at 12:30pm in Melbourne, Philippines vs Switzerland at 5pm in Dunedin and Spain vs Costa Rica at 7:30pm in Wellington.

In Rugby

Caleb Muntz leads the Fiji Water Flying Fijians at flyhalf versus Tonga tomorrow on his Test debut with the explosive star power of halfback Frank Lomani inside him and Josua Tuisova outside him, with Captain and Centre Waisea Nayacalevu around him as well. Selestino Ravutaumada on one Wing and Isoa Nasilasila at lock are also on debut.

At the end of this podcast, I take a closer look at this Test, stacked full of global rugby stars in Background Buzz.

Also in rugby union, an Anzac invitational XV will play the British and Irish Lions in their July 2025 tour that also includes three Tests against the Wallabies. All five Australian Super Rugby teams will also get a shot at the combined best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

In rugby league

Junior Tupou scored twice and Apisai Koroisau also scored for Wests Tigers to hold a 14-12 lead at the break, but from then on, it was all one way traffic as the Dragons scored the only points of the second half with an impressive try from Mikaele Ravalawa for a 18-14 win.

In the big clash at Sunshine Coast Stadium tonight, South Sydney Rabbitohs star, Latrell Mitchell has been ruled out against the Brisbane Broncos, despite completing yesterday’s captain’s run.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Souths want to give Mitchell another week off to recover from his calf injury.

Also tonight, the New Zealand Warriors take on the Canberra Raiders at Go Media Stadium wherever that is – formerly known as Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland I think.

On Saturday, the Knights play the Melbourne Storm in Newcastle, while the Cowboys take on the Parramatta Eels in Townsville later.

And on Sunday, it’s the Panthers versus the Bulldogs at BlueBet Stadium.

At the Tour de France

Pello Bilbao was issued a warning by the UCI race jury, after the Basque rider punched a spectator who appeared to block his path while running alongside him during the race.

Meanwhile, Yellow jersey owner, Jonas Vingegaard has been swamped with anti-doping tests – like four in 48 hours, including one an hour before the start of Wednesday’s 17th stage, his Jumbo-Visma team said amid scepticism over the Dane’s performances.

“We are perfectly fine with it… We’ve been asking the International Cycling Union to act like this actually. To be honest I fully understand the scepticism. We have to be sceptical, with what happened in the past, otherwise it would happen again,’ Vingegaard told a press conference.

He leads by 7 minutes 35 seconds after Stage 18 yesterday.

In football

As the FIFA Women’s World Cup began last night down under, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino declined to comment on pay disparities and their goal of offering equal prize money at the next Men’s and Women’s World Cups.

“Focus on the positive, focus on the happiness, focus on the joy,” the FIFA President said instead — adding that he would discuss deeper issues in the game after the World Cup concludes next month.

While prize money for this FIFA Women’s World Cup totaling US$110Million, is more than three times the US$30M paid out at the 2019 World Cup for women, it is still only 25% of the US$440M awarded to Men’s teams in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year.

In combat sports

The No. 1 UFC Middleweight contender, Dricus Du Plessis of South Africa, has pulled out of UFC293 in Sydney, Australia on 10 September according to UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya.

Apparently Du Plessis has not recovered from beating Robert Whittaker at UFC290 earlier this month.

Background Buzz

OK so in Background Buzz this morning, I take a closer look at the Fiji versus Tonga Test in Lautoka Fiji tomorrow, where young Caleb Muntz leads the Fiji Water Flying Fijians at flyhalf on debut and the big question Fiji fans are asking around the kava bowl tonight: Will he be able to handle the pressure?

Only time will tell of course.

Fiji Head Coach, Simon Raiwalui has named a very strong team – possibly the best Test team that he can put out on the park this weekend, and of course with the Rugby World Cup only weeks away, he wants to start off his campaign with a win.

So there’s a lot at stake, as he said himself in his media conference announcing the team – “The Tongans will be very competitive.”

So back to young Mr. Muntz.

His grandfather, Barrie came to Fiji from New Zealand to work at BNZ Bank in the early 1970s. He played and refereed many games at Churchill Park where his grandson will play tomorrow.

Sadly Barrie has passed away, but I am sure his parents and his Fiji family – the Pickering’s from his grandmother’s side, will be there in numbers on a very proud day to support young Caleb.

No doubt Caleb Muntz is a skilled, smart flyhalf – he just has to trust his instincts and play his natural game, knowing that he has some of international rugby’s biggest stars around him.

And kick his goals – no pressure Caleb, but nothing less than 80%+ is acceptable at Test and Rugby World Cup level.

Apart from Muntz and Selestino Ravutaumada on the Wing, plus Frank Lomani at halfback, the rest of the Fiji Water Flying Fijians are superstar professionals

Fiji Water Flying Fijians: Sireli Maqala (Bayonne) Jiuta Wainiqolo (Toulon), Waisea Nayacalevu (c) (Toulon), Josua Tuisova (Lyon), Selestino Ravutaumada, Caleb Muntz, Frank Lomani (all Fijian Drua). In the front row for Fiji tomorrow – Peni Ravai (Reds), Samuel Matavesi (Northampton Saints), Mesake Doge (Dragons Wales), Isoa Nasilasila (Fijian Drua), Temo Mayanavanua (Lyon), Lekima Tagitagivalu (Pyrenees), Levani Botia (La Rochelle) and Albert Tuisue (Gloucester).

Replacements: Tevita Ikanivere, Eroni Mawi, Luke Tagi, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (all Fijian Drua), Viliame Mata (Edinburgh), Peni Matawalu (Fijian Drua), Ben Volavola (Racing 92) and Semi Radradra needs no introduction but he plays for Lyon.

No Israel Folau but Ikale Tahi Tonga field four former All Blacks in their match-day 23 including: 15 Charles Piutau (Bristol); 14 Fine Inisi, 13 Afusipa Taumoepeau (Perpignan), 12 Malakai Fekitoa (Benetton), 11 Solomone Kata (Leicester); 10 Otumaka Mausia (Parramatta), 9 Sonatane Takulua (c) (Stade Montois). Their rront row Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (Pau), Siua Maile (Bennetton), Ben Tameifuna (Bordeaux), locks Halaleva Fifita (Connacht) and Samiuela Lousi (Scarlets Wales), Tanginoa Halaifonua (Grenoble), Solomone Funaki (Moana Pasifika) and 8 Vaea Fifita (Scarlets).

So their former All Blacks are Charles Piutau, Malaki Fekitoa, Ben Tameifuna and Vaea Fifita.

And finally, confirming the global interest in this Test – the video clip of the Fiji Water Flying Fijians trudging uphill at the Sigatoka sand dunes in the rain while singing on Tuesday morning, has gone viral on social media with over one million views in the last 24 hours.

It picked up over 300,000 views on one Tweet alone, then found its way to TikTok where it has so far received over 600,00 views and 80,000 likes on Rugby World Cup.

So with the RWC looming and so many overseas-based professionals on Churchill Park on Saturday, you can bet there will be huge global interest and viewership in the outcome of this Test.

Our world famous tip for tomorrow – the Fiji Water Flying Fijians forwards will more than match Ikale Tahi in the tight, and Fiji simply has too much firepower in their backs.

BUT having said that, we have seen so many Tests in the past, where Fiji looked too good on the team sheet, but one thing about the Tongans is – they never give up!

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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