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Moana Pasifika to dedicate pre-season clash against Chiefs to Tonga

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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Moana Pasifika will use its first pre-season clash of the year against the Chiefs to help raise funds for Tonga after the Pacific Island nation was rocked by a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend.

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The massive eruption of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai, and the ensuing tsunami it caused, resulted in devastation throughout Tonga, including at least three deaths and widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure.

Since then, various relief efforts have begun to help provide aid to victims, with Moana Pasifika jumping onboard by confirming on Friday that all proceeds from their clash against the Chiefs at Mt Smart Stadium on February 4 will be donated to Tonga.

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“For Moana Pasifika this game has special meaning, not only is it our first historic hit-out at our home base Mt Smart Stadium, but it will also be about supporting the Tongan community in these really difficult times,” Moana Pasifika Trust chairman Sir Michael Jones said.

“The Moana Pasifika family, the Chiefs whanau and the wider community will show their love and support for Tonga in the aftermath of the catastrophic events that have taken place since the weekend. At times like this, we are all Tongan.”

Moana Pasifika head coach Aaron Mauger added that his side, which features six Tongan internationals, wanted to show its “ofa (love)” in a meaningful way.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our families and friends in Tonga who are suffering some severe hardship right now,” Mauger said.

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“We wanted to show our ofa by supporting the relief efforts in a meaningful way. We will be dedicating our game to the people of Tonga.”

Moana Pasifika had the support of both Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan and Chiefs CEO Michael Collins, with Sky TV to broadcast the match on free-to-air television.

“We want to show our support for the people of Tonga and for their whanau and friends in Aotearoa New Zealand, and we’re delighted to be working with Moana Pasifika on this special broadcast,” Sky TV chief executive Sophie Maloney said.

“Sky is donating our production and staff services and broadcasting the match on Sky Sport and free to air on Prime.

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“We’re also working with the organisers to promote ways to support fundraising and other projects to help Tonga get back on its feet. Using ‘Sport for Good’ is one of our passions at Sky, and we’re pleased to get behind this special event.”

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