Friday, 2 September 2011

Sevens days to the world ;)

The Rugby World Cup is heating up!

And if you haven't yet un-friended me on Facebook from the barrage of RWC related items in your newsfeed, trust me it's only a moment of clarity click away.

I won't bore you with tales of yester-games, the historical significance behind specific games because it'll have been covered so much richer than I could have done justice to.

No, I'm going to tell you about my feelings :) *snooooreeee*

I love the current Manu Samoa team, I like their cohesiveness, their humility and most of all I love that the current theme in all their interviews go something like "We are your team, we play for you our people of Samoa"  I don't remember the team of 2007 being like this.  Of course the public support and the momentum behind the team then was nothing like it is this year but neither were the boys attitudes the same then as they are now.

A few those who played in 2007 are in the 2011 team but there are many new faces who are tearing it up on that field like no ones business and good for them, no one's going to hand them anything on a silver platter.  I'm glad we haven't gone down the route of selection by pity votes, anyone remember Brian Lima's dismal record fifth RWC?  He was past his prime and should never have been given the slot but how do you say no to the claim of having one of your very own sons of Samoa be the first person to play in 5 RWC's?  If you had asked me then, I would have said, quite easily and crossed his name off the selection panel without a second glance.  To add salt to the wound, this very illustrious bid for the record RWC was marred by a dangerous tackle that he made which I am still surprised he wasn't banned for...but hey, what do I know :)

Anyway, I digress back to my original point.  Pity/fai luga le masagi/club bias/nostalgia votes are cruel and unkind to both the players and the supporters.  Whilst some players may find it okay to make the team based on expired performances and his name, fans like myself will never forgive those who made the selection and the player for accepting a position he could not fulfil.  It's not about you, it's about the team and once you make it about an individual I really believe that you set yourself up for a fall, a big one at that.  So far the Samoa camp aren't directing individual attention to one player, the media and the commentators may do and it would be foolish to think that we don't all have our favourites out there but the truth is when you look at the Manu Samoa team, you see a sea of faces of the squad rather then a singular name.  :-)  This I love very much.

I've been following the RWC and our teams progress closely via team members, FB fan pages and the media.  I wasn't prepared for how much crying I would be doing this week.  From the pictures of Go the Manu fans sent in from all corners of this big world to the teams departure from Samoa.  It has just been a steady stream of happy tears, tears of immense pride and amazement at the heart of our people.  The scenes of the team arriving into Auckland airport were amazing.  More than 2000 people had arrived at the airport to welcome their sons and brothers, 2000 people singing, cheering, with toddlers on parents shoulders their faces painted red white and blue.  I think the dam broke loose when the captain Mahonri Schwalger called out "Ia o le tou Manu Samoa lenei"  *sob sob sob* If watching it on links was this overwhelming I can only imagine what it would have been like in that crowd!  I heard there were a few little twerp teenie boppers in the crowd booing the Kapa Haka group who welcomed the team to New Zealand.  Gawd I hate poor sportsmanship with a vengeance and I sincerely hope there won't be only more disrespectful displays like this!  

7 days to go till the opening and I'm not sure how we're going to spend it, leaning towards some nibbles and drinks and plenty of company :) 

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