Kiwis coach Michael Maguire and his Mate Ma’a Tonga counterpart Kristian Woolf are predicting a brutal clash when their teams face off at Mt Smart Stadium on June 22, with tickets on sale today.
The highly-anticipated rematch between the Pacific rivals is the first game of the inaugural Oceania Cup and with the last two Tongan matches in New Zealand selling out, fans are encouraged to buy tickets early.
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Kiwis coach Maguire said there was a real focus among his team to play well for “every one that loves the Kiwis”.
“Moving into that Tongan game, it’s going to be one hell of a game, the passion between the two is definitely going to be there,” Maguire said.
“It is a great opportunity for everyone that loves the Kiwis to get out there and get themselves into the stands.”
Tonga coach Woolf was delighted that Mate Ma‘a would get an opportunity to face New Zealand again after beating them for the first time two years ago in Hamilton.
“That New Zealand game is one that’s needed to be on the calendar for a while, it’s a terrific grudge match and one that both teams will be right up for and really looking forward to,” Woolf said.
Woolf said the way fans had supported Mate Ma’a Tonga in the last two years was unbelievable.
“We really appreciate the support and we look forward to seeing them at Mt Smart Stadium and while it’s played in New Zealand, we certainly want to make it feel like a home game for Tonga as well.”