Kudos to Coach Matamua Salima and team

Dear Editor,

Coach Matamua, I couldn’t be more proud of your unwavering effort as you and the boys ‘stuck it out’ in your journey to the GOLD at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas. 

Savaii, especially, and Samoa, generally celebrates with you. 

Faafetai lava to the Principal, Staff and students of Vaiola College for your ‘tapuai’ and hosting the arrival procession on Monday, 31st July, for our 6 Golden Salafai boys! What a shame SRU Apia did not invite you and the parents of the 6 Savaii U-18 players to the Special function held to honour the CYG Gold medal achievement! You have proven your mettle and I salute you for that.

Coach, malo lava le tauivi ma onosai. Your raw passion and drive not give up on Savaii’s Grassroots Rugby Development Programme should be commended by SRU Apia management. To say Savaii is proud of your efforts is an understatement.

I have heard of your struggles with next to no resources like the pathetic junk SRU van that is parked at Salelologa (including financial) leaves much to be desired by the support you get from SRU Apia Office. Please SRU Board, get rid of a few ‘deadwood’ that are counter-productive if rugby development in Samoa is to regain its former ‘glory’.

Against all odds, Coach Matamua’s overall performance is sterling like the Gold medal our boys won. This is what Savaii can produce when there is ‘killer-passion’ from their Coach and ‘toa’ from our ‘faipopo’ boys: 

Manu Samoa 7s Squad and 2017 Marist Vailima ‘Player of the Tournament’ and part of the Bowl Winners from Salelologa Rugby Development Team 

Elisapeta Alofipo 

Manu Samoa U-20 Squad

Ricky Pauli Ene, Peato Toeafe

Manu Samoa U-18 Squad- CYG Gold Medalists

Sione Young Yen, Kelvin Masoe, Fa’amanu Tofilau, Alapese Siaki, Frank Tato, Sefo Toma

I know for a fact that Coach Matamua has had to depend on his wife [faafetai tele lava Taffy Mariner-Salima) for financial support, apart from using their private car for SRU work and even ‘pasese’ to get Savaii rugby teams exposed to Apia Tournaments on time. 

SRU Board, how long will this ‘madness’ (lack of support/resources) go on for? Few of your Apia Admin staff appear to enjoy playing ‘petty politics’ when it comes to ‘micro-managing’ financial support for Savaii teams. Does SRU Apia staff have their performance appraised and how often? That is incompetence personified and partly explains why Samoa’s rugby is in shambles. 

Only Savaii can show what can be achieved when the Coach believes in his Grassroots rugby program and the raw talent the ‘Big Island’ has to offer Samoa’s rugby development. Not even money or lack thereof, can douse that ‘burning’ Manu spirit, that is MANU SAMOA passion EXEMPLIFIED! 

Savaii rugby has proven itself with ‘pinaki’ SRU Apia support so please give Coach Matamua and Savaii Grassroots Rugby Development program some credit and decent rugby resources because there is still untapped Gold talent yet to be discovered from the ‘Big Island’. CYG Gold is just the ‘appetiser’ to the ‘gourmet’ rugby talent here. Lest we test Palemia’s mantra ‘what’s good for Upolu is also good for Salafai’!


Ou mama na,

Moana Liza

Fusi & Satupaitea 

(Rugby Advocate/Savaii Grassroots Fan)

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