The best thing that could happen this weekend

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

We know it’s hard to be positive. 

What with the Samoa Rugby Union declaring itself bankrupt, reducing this once proud rugby nation to the butt of ridicule and jokes from all over the world, it’s not a good time for many of us.

But it is what it is and as sad as it sounds, there is very little many of us could do about where we are today except to swallow our pride and bow our heads in utter shame. 

Which is a difficult thing to do because we are such a proud nation, especially when it comes to sports. 

And yet today, there is nothing to be proud of. We have found ourselves in midst of a crisis off the field, which have not helped by the recent performances of our national teams on it. 

But then whom are we kidding here? We cannot expect miracles on the field when the donkeywork that needs to be done in the boardrooms and off the field is neglected. Of course we are predominantly speaking rugby here. 

The good thing about it is that there are lessons from rugby’s demise that other sports can learn from. 

We say this because if there is anything positive to come out of what’s happening in Samoa today, it is that other sports administrators should take their queue and find out how not to bankrupt an organisation.

Anyway, enough said about that for now. 

After all we desperately need some positive news after the events of the past few days.

One competition that could have definitely given the downtrodden spirits of this nation a lift is the Rugby League World Cup. For the past two weeks, we were all hopeful that despite the odds, Toa Samoa could have provided us the miracle we needed against New Zealand and Tonga.

Alas it didn’t happen. Whereas the men in blue capitulated against the Kiwis in the second half, they simply could not match Tonga in Hamilton last week. Coupled by the fact they were their own worst enemies with a number of unforced errors, the bragging rights have rightly gone to the Tongans for now, which is again so difficult to accept. 

It’s natural though. When our teams lose, in this case our beloved Toa Samoa, we often refuse to admit and acknowledge just how good the opposition is. 

In this case, it must be said that Mate Ma’a from Tonga was exceptional. And as much as we hate to say it, they thoroughly deserved their 32-18 win over Toa Samoa in Hamilton last week. 

It was gut wrenching stuff for many of us who had hoped against all hopes that Toa Samoa could pull out a trump card and produce the unthinkable but we say well done Tonga. And we so hope they can go all the way against the Kiwis tonight. Wouldn’t that be fantastic for the Pacific… and for Tonga’s new-found fans in Samoa?

As for the Toa Samoa, well they have one last chance to prove themselves against Scotland in Cairns today. Yesterday, coach Matt Parish called on the Toa Samoa support base to keep the faith. 

Fair enough. 

But Parish and his team need to produce the result and the performance they have been promising fans from the start. We have yet to see the best of the Toa Samoa. We hope they will show it tonight otherwise this would be a Rugby League World Cup to forget. 

Of course we know we will play Australia next if make it through tonight, but that’s something to worry about next week.  

Here is something else that has been lost amidst all the madness of this week. While Toa Samoa is playing the Scottish league team, tomorrow morning in Murrayfield, the Manu Samoa will take on the Scotland rugby team. While we stand corrected, this might be the first time this has happened. It’s exciting.

It means we get to have two cracks at the Bravehearts from Scotland.

Now the odds are of course against the Manu Samoa. With a relatively new team captained by an inexperienced Chris Vui, it might be unrealistic to expect them to topple Scotland in front their crowd.

But wouldn’t it be fantastic if they do? 

A win against all odds could be the best result for all of us after everything that has happened with the Samoa Rugby Union this week. Don’t you think?

Here is wishing both the Toa Samoa and Manu Samoa all the best against Scotland. O outou mama na!

Have a wonderful weekend Samoa, God bless! 

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