Taumalolo admits fault on Kiwis snub



16 Have your say

    Jason Taumalolo admits he could’ve handled his Rugby League World Cup defection from New Zealand to Tonga much better, but insists the continued Kiwis exile of Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor wasn’t a contributing factor.

    In his typical wrecking ball fashion, the Auckland-born lock made 163 running metres for Tonga as they defeated the Kiwis 28-22 on Saturday.

    Considered the world’s finest forward, 24-year-old Taumalolo incensed Kiwi league fans last month when he chose to represent Tonga at the Cup.

    At the time, Taumalolo insisted he did so to honour his family and grow the game in Tonga, but reports also suggested he was upset by the demotion of Bromwich and Proctor for their part in a drugs scandal after May’s Anzac Test defeat to Australia.

    The pair were allegedly seen snorting cocaine in Canberra.

    Taumalolo denied those allegations after Saturday’s Test in Hamilton, saying he felt no ill will towards coach David Kidwell or any of his former Kiwis teammates.

    He said he has spoken to Kidwell after fulltime and apologised for the tardiness of his defection, explaining that time passed quickly after his run to the NRL grand final.

    Taumalolo – following David Fusitu’a, Manu Ma’u and Sio Siua Taukeiaho – gave Kidwell just 48 hours’ notice of his wish to play for Tonga.

    “Obviously the timing of it was a bit late but I didn’t want to distract my preparation leading into finals footy for the Cowboys,” Taumalolo said.

    “Thought it was a great time to make my decision then and there – just have to bite that bullet with everyone saying what they said, that won’t bother me.

    “I was totally behind Kidwell’s decision (on Bromwich and Proctor) – I don’t take drugs, I don’t condone it either. I stand by his decision.”

    Having finished first in Pool B, the Kristian Woolf-coached Mate Ma’a are now all but certain to avoid Cup favourites Australia until the final.

    They’ll play their quarter final in Christchurch next week.

    “The main part for me wasn’t that I made it personal, but it was a pretty emotional game for myself, playing against the country I was born in – big games, tha

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • November 11th 2017 @ 9:57pm
      Terry Tavita said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:57pm | ! Report

      reading between the lines, the author of this article still seems to have no idea why taumalolo and others chose to play for tonga..the evidence was all there quite clearly tonight..they are all proud tongan men and probably indeed would die for tonga..

      • November 12th 2017 @ 5:04pm
        Davico's filthy conscience said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        If they were proud men they would have gone back to Tonga to live, would have represented Tonga through the age groups, would be able to speak the language fluently. Half of them had never ever even been to Tonga. It’s like calling someone a proud father when they run off abandoning their family for 20 years and then turning up after their children are successful. Cowardly.

        • November 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm
          Fred said | November 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

          Name one of the Tongan team who hasn’t been to Tonga please?

          Why would a professional footballer earning a fortune for his family move back to Tonga where there is no fully professional competition (in either code)?

          You’re deranged.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 12:24pm
      Jacko said | November 12th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

      Total grubs….48 hrs notice when 3 mths of promo has him in an NZ jersey….His family left Tonga because they could not provide any future for him so wouldnt you think he would honour his family by playing for NZ where he was born and where his family got a better life…..Never select him again…ever….did I mention…..EVER

      • November 12th 2017 @ 12:35pm
        Joe said | November 12th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        If you take the island boys out of the kiwi side BANG BANG !!! Die for TONGA

        • November 12th 2017 @ 12:42pm
          Dave said | November 12th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          Kiwi’s would be useless without the Polynesian boys (tongan,samoan)

          • November 12th 2017 @ 5:47pm
            Stu said | November 12th 2017 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

            Theres 15 maori in the squad. Bromwich and Proctor are too. Not many islanders left.

            Liu, Asofa Solomona, Taupau, Fonua Blake & Leuluai

            • November 12th 2017 @ 6:15pm
              Dave said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

              Roger tuivasa sheck?? Aint Maori,, the kiwi’s would have been done over by any of the tier2 teams

          • November 12th 2017 @ 6:14pm
            Jacko said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

            So being an NZ citizen and being BORN in NZ make them Pacific islanders rather than Kiwi’s?

            So every Australian who is not an aboriginal is not an Australian then?

            What about Pakeha’s? Are they Kiwi’s?

            What a load of rubbish

            • November 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm
              Let The One King Rule said | November 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

              I was born in Australia and grew up here. I was never accepted by the country, despite its claims of multiculturalism, and was hounded out of my first job by people who were so offended by a man of my colour in that employment that they threatened to run me over after work.

              After that experience I moved to Canada. I didn’t have any friends or connections there. Nonetheless I felt accepted and stayed for years. I returned to Australia because of my wife’s wishes but consider myself Canadian.

              If I had been any good at sports I would have been fully eligible to represent Australia. I might have done so as well, but I still wouldn’t have been Australian in my heart. I don’t hate the country and appreciate the opportunity it gave to my parents. I just don’t love it.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 1:35pm
      Cedric said | November 12th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

      I’m sure Kiwi fans were not incensed that he was going to play for Tonga. The kiwis’ I know did not like the very late withdrawal and also that he left without telling anyone, that’s the issue.
      Had he told the coach a month or to prior to the team announcement I’m sure most kiwis would agree that his inclusion along with others into the Tongan team would be good for the game.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 6:24pm
      Dave said | November 12th 2017 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

      If taumalolo wanted to play for the kiwi’s next world cup they would take him in a heart beat

    • November 13th 2017 @ 6:01am
      Oto sharks said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:01am | ! Report

      Good on Taumalolo for playing for Tonga and good on him for realising how he did it was wrong . well done.

    • November 13th 2017 @ 8:37pm
      Goerge said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

      He was quoted in today’s Courier Mail as saying something along the lines of ‘I didn’t speak to the coach because I was still blind from Mad Monday and phones and alcohol don’t mix well in my experience’

      I’m struggling to see a decent human being behind that kind of comment- surely he owes the Kiwi’s a bit better than that. It’s no different to any of us deciding to quit our jobs at a crucial moment when all of our colleagues need us most.

      Sure, I might not like my boss or I might feel that I want to jump on a another opportunity… but he if I’m prepared to let down my colleagues who had my back and not tell anybody because I’ve had a 3 day booze binge than I’m some kind of numskull.

      It’s well and truly time that numskulls get treated like numskulls instead of being glorified protected individuals and paid stupid salaries more than 8 to 9 times the average wage of most of us.

      If it was down to being a proud Tongan man, I’d support him but if it’s just a drunken publicity stunt then I’m calling a numskull a numskull.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 9:26pm
        Johnno said | November 13th 2017 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

        He’s not employed by the NZRL they are not his bosses, he doesn’t have to give em notice on anything. The NZRL only pay match payments to NZ players, Jason Taumalolo has the right to be as disrespectful and as casual as he wants with the NZRL and kiwis, they don’t pat his wages the cowboys do, playing for the kiwis is like being a commission only salesman you only get paid in match payments.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 8:38pm
          Goerge said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

          Wow- and you don’t think playing test football for NZ increased his market value?
          Therefore he was given an opportunity to earn more -which whether you like it or not should count for something.

          He trained,played and went on camps with the Kiwi squad and was embraced as a brother.
          Fact is -It doesn’t take much to show a tiny bit of respect.
          And he didn’t.

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