Perhaps we hit a sore spot

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 24 December 2015, 12:00AM

And now that the worst kept secret in town has finally been revealed, now is a good time for someone in the Samoa Rugby Union to explain why they made such a big fuss on Monday when the appointment was leaked to your newspaper.

What was the big deal? And what was the point of refuting a story that told the truth anyway? Who are they kidding? Do they really think we are all “idiots”?

We find it incredibly ridiculous, a case of making a mountain out of a molehill.

Unless there is something far more sinister we are not aware about of course.In which case, someone should tell us. 

Did we hit a sore spot? Was it a sensitive nerve?And why was it so sensitive?

Perhaps they’ve forgotten that even trees have ears, ones that are particularly sharp at night after a few cold ones!

For the uninitiated, on the front page of the Samoa Observer on Monday, we broke the story that Namualuulu Alama Ieremia had been appointed as the Manu Samoa coach. 

The story, quoting inside sources, said the announcement was to be made soon.

It was a perfectly legitimate story. Providing that the sources are solid and the information is accurate, any news organisation worth its salt would have done the same. It happens everywhere in the world of media.

But this angered the Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U), Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, who said the story was incorrect.He criticised the Samoa Observer, maintaining that an appointment had not been made.

As if that wasn’t enough, the S.R.U then issued the following media statement for the world to see.

“The Samoa Rugby Union would like to refute the article printed in the Samoa Observer Monday 21st December edition with respect to the appointment of the Manu Samoa Head Coach,” the statement reads.

“The Samoa Rugby Union confirms that the Appointment has not been made and the selection process is still in progress with a decision to be formally announced on Wednesday 23rd December 2015 following its Executive Board meeting.”

Folks, this is on Tuesday. 

Now after making a song and dance about the Samoa Observer breaking the news on Monday, a day later (yesterday), the official announcement came. 

“We are delighted that Namulauulu will lead our coaching programme, in particular, taking on the Head Coach role for Manu Samoa. We are fortunate that one of our own sons, has been emerged from a highly competitive process, as the best choice for Samoa Rugby,” Faleomavaega said.

“As a professional coach, he knows what is required to deliver results, and as a Samoan, he understands the humility he will need to rebuild support for the team.

“While there were some very competitive applications, Namulauulu’s experience as a leader, his communications skills, and immense knowledge and experience in coaching made him a stand-out candidate.

“We know that Namulauulu shares our vision and desire for the Manu Samoa to be successful on the international stage. He has the playing and coaching pedigree to ensure our national team is organised, professional, competitive, and playing the type of exciting rugby we know is possible.

“We will now begin work on helping to build a solid team of coaches and management around Namulauulu. We congratulate him and wish him the very best.”

At this point, we join the S.R.U and the rest of Samoa in congratulating Namulauulu on his appointment. We take great pride and joy in having a proud son of Samoa as the coach. 

But has the S.R.U made the right decision? 

Is Namulauulu the man to take Samoan rugby into the future? 

We don’t want to say anything just yet. You can be the judge of that over time.

In the meantime, let’s accept the decision and give Namulauulu all the support he needs. It is no secret that after the failure of the 2015 Rugby World Cup during which Namulauulu was the Assistant Coach, the morale in the Manu Samoa is at an all time low. It will be a tough ask for Namulauulu to turn things around and he will need to make some key changes in areas where they failed quite miserably during the Rugby World Cup.

As for the S.R.U’s reaction to the story on Monday and the people who abused us for doing our job, try to keep calm.

It is the festive season, a time for joy and giving. 

Perhaps leave the anger and abuse for another, less festive time. Relax, calm down and let the love of Jesus Christ be your friend today, tomorrow and forever.

   Here is wishing Samoa a very Merry Christmas!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 24 December 2015, 12:00AM

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