Samoan welcome for teams and key guests

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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Matt O’Brien, Anthony Moyes and Moefaauo Salale Moananu.

Matt O’Brien, Anthony Moyes and Moefaauo Salale Moananu.

An ava ceremony hosted by the Marist St. Joseph’s Sports Club welcomed the overseas teams and officials who are here for the Vailima Marist Sevens this weekend.

The ceremony took place at A.C.P Marist Samoa Clubhouse, yesterday.

The two overseas teams included Auckland Marist St. Josephs and Auckland Marist old boys with guest World Cup officials Matt O’Brien and Anthony Moyes. 

“This is my first time here in Samoa and its awesome,” Mr. O’Brien said. “I love it; as soon as we got here I’ve noticed that everyone’s all happy and relaxed which has made us feel welcome.” O’Brien, one of the leading referees in the world, said the welcome has been superb.

“We are treated like guests and it’s a bit embarrassing. Everyone is welcoming and it’s very humbling.”

The atmosphere of the ava ceremony gave the pair of Australian officials and New Zealand teams a chance to see a bit of culture. It also gave the Samoan rugby players in the Auckland teams a warm feeling of nostalgia.

Marist officials during the ava ceremony at Marist Club house


The World Cup match Officials will be having clinics today to help give our local referees a look in to the skills of the pair. 

Both O’Brien and Moyes will be sharing their experience and what they know with those who attend and will be teaching them a few tricks. “We have a thing or two we can teach the local referees from our time as international match referees which is why we will be having the clinics.” The two are looking forward to seeing what Samoan Sevens players can do on their home turf.

“I am excited about the upcoming tournament and I’m looking forward to the fast running and massive hits that the Samoans are known for.”

But for now the only thing on their agenda is going sight seeing.

“We will be renting a car today to go around Samoa and to see some sites which I am excited about,” O’Brien said.  “The humidity is not as bad as Australia so it’s not that bad.” For the Auckland Marist player Tevite Gadeisuva who is from Fiji; focus and trying your best is the only thing that matters.

“We are here to perform to the best of our capabilities and to work really hard towards winning the cup. We will try our best and leave the rest to the man upstairs (God).”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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