16 Nov 2023

Sports news in brief for November 16

4:27 pm on 16 November 2023
Cook Islands men's and women's rugby 9s nines teams stuck between airports due to flight interruptions.

Cook Islands men's and women's rugby 9s nines teams stuck between airports due to flight interruptions. Photo: Facebook.com/Coconut Wireless

Cook Islands - stuck

Flight disruptions due to Cyclone Mal have delayed travel for the Cook Islands men's and women's rugby nines teams.

The 26 athletes and their families were due to travel to Honiara, Solomon Islands via Australia and Fiji but had their journey disrupted by flight cancellations.

RNZ Pacific understands they have been rerouted via New Zealand and left Auckland on Thursday morning for Fiji.

However, they will have to fly to Canberra from Nadi on Friday, then on to Brisbane for one night before flying on to Solomon Islands.

Vanuatu - volleyball

Vanuatu's two teams dominated the Queensland women's beach volleyball tournament in Brisbane at the weekend, winning silver and gold at the end of the three day event.

Vanuatu Two pair Lin Matautau and Loti Joe won the final by two sets, claiming set two 21-15 and set three 15-8 after losing the first set 28-26 to Vanuatu One pair Tini Toko and Bella Lawac.

Toko and Lawac move on to Thailand to be part of the International Federation of Volleyball Pro Tour Challenge this week from 16-19 November.

The tournament serves as the team's final warm up to the 2023 Pacific Games.

Fiji - boxers

Experienced Fijian boxers Jone Davule Koroilagilagi and Elia Rokobuli will lead Team Fiji's campaign in the boxing event at the 2023 Pacific Games

Fiji Amateur Boxing Association president Manasa Baravilala told RNZ Pacific that the duo know what it takes to be in the mix and win medals at such events.

Fiji will have seven boxers competing at the Games.

Samoa - football

Seventeen-year-old Samoan-Kiwi footballer Marley Leuluai has signed a two year deal with English premier football club Burnley.

Media reports in New Zealand and England have confirmed that the rising Kiwi footballer has signed his first professional contract with Burnley FC in the English Premier League up to 2026.

Leuluai, who is currently captain of the New Zealand U-17 team competing at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Indonesia is son of former Samoan and New Zealand Maori rugby league player Kylie Leuluai, who also played for Warrington Wolves and the Leeds Rhinos in England.

One News reported the player was happy with his new contract, which he said was a dream come true for him and the transition from Manchester City Academy, where he was on a scholarship since 2013, has been good.

It said his family was with him when Leuluai penned the new contract earlier this month.

Marley Leuluai

Marley Leuluai Photo: Facebook.com/SAMOA Forever

Fiji - hockey

The Fiji Hockey Association is seeking urgent financial support to enable their two national teams to compete at the 2024 Hockey World Cup in Oman next January.

The Fijians had qualified after winning bronze medals at the Oceania Cup in Australia in July.

FBC Sports reports the association has now launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of braising FJ$100,000.

Fiji Hockey said they need to raise F$3,000 each and the association is actively seeking an additional $235,000 to cover the entire trip.

The Fijian men's and women's teams are now in the Solomon Islands to participate at the Pacific Games.

New Caledonia - FIFA

New Caledonia were unable to contain an impressive England side in Jakarta, losing 10-0 in their opening Group C fixture at the 2023 FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Sunday.

Oceania Football Confederation reported England dominated the match after New Caledonia's Nolhann Alebate was sent off in the opening seconds of the second-half.

New Caledonia goalkeeper Nicolas Kutran put in a notable performance and did well to keep the scores level in the early stages but England turned the pressure on to record the big win.

Meanwhile, Oceania's other team, New Zealand, lost 3-0 to Venezuela in their opening pool game.