Lions strengthen their squad by signing another Tongan

Peterborough Lions have signed another Tongan to boost their promotion push in the English Clubs Championship.

Thursday, 18th January 2018, 7:59 am
Updated Thursday, 18th January 2018, 8:02 am
Sitanislei Semisi Tei leaves a Lichfield defender in his wake as he crosses for one of two tries for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Niko Moa, a 25 year-old hooker, arrived in the country on Monday, trained with the squad on Tuesday and is likely to play in Saturday’s Midlands Premiership match against Longton at Solstice Park, Bretton (2.15pm).

Moa is the fourth Tongan to join the city club this season after player/coach Vili Ma’asi, star centre Sitanislei Semisi Tei and powerful number eight Sioki Vaha Taufu’i .

He arrives from top Romanian Superliga club Steaua București where he played with Semesi Tei last season, and he also played alongside Vaha Taufu’i back home in Tonga.

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Lions skipper Chris Humphrey on the charge at Lichfield. Picture Mick Sutterby

Moa comes in to replace Wes Cope, who left the Lions during the Christmas break to rejoin National League Two club South Leicester.

“Moa comes highly recommended and certainly looked sharp in training,” said Lions director of rugby Simon Moyle.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he shapes up on Saturday - providing we get his registration through in time.

“We now have a very good squad packed with experienced players - guys who have played at National League One and National League Two level. Hopefully they will see us through to a successful end to the season.

Lions skipper Chris Humphrey on the charge at Lichfield. Picture Mick Sutterby

“It’s a squad good enough to secure a promotion play-off spot and in my opinion I think we’ll do well in the play-offs.

“That is our focus. We’ve got to be realistic and concede that Birmingham look to have the title wrapped up.

“So we’re in a battle with Newport and possibly Doncaster, to finish second.

“We’re where we need to be. We’ve won the last three games but certainly won’t be resting on our laurels.

“There’s a lot of rugby still to be played and we know you can’t underestimate anyone at this level.

“Longton are near the foot of the table but we won’t be taking them lightly. We will treat them with the respect they deserve.”

The Lions won 41-34 away at Lichfield last Saturday with Semisi Tei crossing twice.

In Midlands Division One there were also away wins for both Borough and Oundle.

Borough overcame bottom club Market Rasen 47-12 and Oundle beat Northampton Old Scouts 56-21.

Centres Tom Williams and Michael Bean both crossed twice for Borough while Will Carrington and James Keane claimed a hat-trick of touchdowns each for Oundle.

Borough are at home to Melton Mowbray on Saturday and Oundle entertain Old Northamptonians (both 2.15pm).

n Andy McGeown celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday with two tries in a man-of-the-match performance for Thorney Old Monks as they beat Oundle Veterans 26-17.