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By ILIESA TORA

Nuku’alofa – August 31, 2021: 12.55pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The Kolomotu’a Rugby Club finally lifted the Tongatapu Rugby Union title again after a lapse of 25 years.

Missing from the sideline was longtime player and coach Liueli Fusimalohi, who passed away last week as the club prepared to meet defending champions Toloa Old Boys last Saturday at Te’ufaiva Stadium.

But in the end the Eagles defeated Toloa 18-17 and sent their fans wild with celebrations.

Liueli was part of the Kolomotu’a side from the early 90’s under then coach, the late Sione Taumoepeau.

He played with the likes of Samisoni Lolo and Ipolito Fenukitau and was a national rep also at the time.

Although he was missing last Saturday, the team put up a champion performance and won the battle right at the end after they had trailed 17-15, thanks to flyhalf Paulo Folau, who kicked a last minute penalty.

Folau also kicked all of his side’s points.

The 2021 Tongatapu champions Kolomotu’a Eagles. Photo: PESI FONUA/Matangi Tonga

Celebrations continued late into Saturday night at the club’s Ha’alano home.

This week the team took the trophy home to their late player and coach as he was prepared to be sent home to his resting place.

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