Where’s the fairness?
So, in the rugby sense, are we on the road to redemption?
Can we dare believe that after improved performances from our Manu Samoa 15’s in Scotland and 7’s team at the Oceania tournament at the weekend?
While the Manu Samoa 15’s went down in a 44-38 defeat by Scotland on Saturday, from all accounts - including some from the Scots themselves, the home side was relieved to scrape out a win in a game they went into as favourites.
Six tries from Scotland against five by Manu Samoa is not the score that engenders any great confidence in the winning side.
Particularly when coming up next, are the All Blacks
For the Manu Samoa players, in light of the world wide publicity about our financial claims of bankruptcy and the even more vociferous exchanges and blame games played out on traditional and social media, it’s to their credit that the players could stay focused on the task at hand.
Perhaps the best and most sensible comment on the state of play, came from the Manu Samoa captain, Chris Vui.
“I felt like even though the result didn’t go our way, it almost put us back on the map. We’re a really proud country and we’re here to play rugby.”
And that pretty much sums it up.
They’re there to play rugby and hopefully, World Rugby and the Samoa Rugby Union can take care of everything else - that is the money – the fair allocation of it and the careful management of it which is necessary so that players and fans can enjoy the sport they love.
Whilst this paper, has and will continue to highlight and publicise if we see and are told about mismanagement of finances and poor decision-making by the Samoa Rugby Union, it should be noted that World Rugby and that old network of countries that control the game, are also not blameless.
In fact, it is a crime that the Northern Hemisphere countries have deliberately structured the rules around the organisation of the game to protect their own interests and pockets for years.
Many of us think that both Australia and New Zealand representatives could have applied much more pressure around the World Rugby boardroom table for fairness over the years but they too, were enjoying the fact they could cherry pick island players to bolster their sides and seemed reluctant to take a stronger stance.
So where does that leave us and other Pacific nations?
We believe some of the adverse publicity about the lack of money for smaller rugby playing countries has garnered a sympathetic hearing from rugby fans and players around the world.
Inherent unfairness is something most humans will respond to strongly and it appears that this is happening.
And isn’t the word ‘fair’ bandied around in sport from when children begin taking part as toddlers?
Perhaps the most extreme way to look at the situation of small island nations not getting a share of the gate takings in the sport of rugby where you must have two teams is to think the unthinkable and imagine the game of rugby without any Pacific players or teams.
Try that on for size and go back to the board room for another look at those rules.