Baby Manu are local players with world class performance

Dear Editor,

Today Samoa has a thousand and one reasons to be delighted!

Thousands of miles away from home, the baby Manu Samoa did not let loneliness, distance, and the grandeur of occasion distract them from capturing the elusive gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas.

I can almost taste the sweet taste of victory thousands of miles away from the Bahamas

A much-needed morale-booster for our ailing country who just missed the Rugby World Cup qualifier at home. As of this writing, I can’t still fathom how timely this victory is for the die-hard fans of the winless Manu Samoa. For now, this success presents a rainbow of hope for Samoa rugby after months of defeats. 

 It made me wonder, how did the local boys of Samoa pulled-it-off when the highly regarded Manu Samoa cannot achieve for the past few years? 

The answer came as fast as the question. Local players seem to be hungrier, more passionate and have hearts.

I am not pretending to quantify these factors with a measuring gadget but their victory means something even from the surface. Certainly, you and I can attest the importance of these factors when compared to our highly regarded Manu Samoa’s performance with our Commonwealth gold-winning baby Manu Sevens.

An article I read many years ago suggested that according to research starvation can and will make a person smarter and stronger in the long run. A starving person will do anything and everything, legal or otherwise, to survive. The will to survive enhances one’s creativity in the long run as he hassles and dazzles around.

Ahah, I can see the connection!

Local players are both literally and hypothetically ‘starving’.

Starving for opportunities to prove themselves, starving to give Samoa the long-awaited glory in world rugby, and they are starving to prove that with faith everything is possible.

The sad part of this all is the implication of the word ‘local player.’ Almost always this label connotes a player with unrefined skills, untalented and unwitty therefore cannot compete on the world stage. If you think I am making this up just ask the guy next door or better yet, the person in the mirror.

While there is truth in this observation, I also concur that local players are much hungrier, intensely passionate and with so much heart. The boys’ gold medal performance is both a testament to this notion, and possibly, can be a game-changer in the near future. 

After all, these young boys are ‘local players’ who simply dominated their competitions in the Bahamas. What lesson do we get in here; never to underestimate our local players! 

I guess being a local player is beneficial after all.

These wonderful intangibles possessed by our local players can become liabilities if left unchecked. When this happens, we can be a little kinder our ‘local players’ leeway of their lack of exposure hence not entirely their faults.

What we can do however is used politics to our advantage. This is the perfect scenario wherein politics is at best.

Through and by politics, these local players can receive professional training; proper fitness and nutrition, skill and psychological training and additional funding.  

Only within this framework, I welcome politics with open arms! I maintain my view that politics should and must stay by the doorsteps from any and all sports of Samoa.

I said this before and I say this again; give our local players chances to shine and I can assure you, win or lose, they will give their all. 

Give the Savai’ians the chance. Give Upolians the chance. Equal chance to one and all, put politics where it belongs, by the front door of Samoan sports, then we will be winners all day.

Haters hate, lovers love but I say Samoans love to hate out-of-place politics in sports and we hate to love the money-grabber-individuals.

Together, we can do this. Together we can see our beloved countrymen in the apex of sports. 

Today and every day are our second chance Samoa to truly embrace and invest in our local players.

Let us savour together the sweet victory of our baby Manu Samoa Sevens after all victory seems to be once in a blue moon occurrence nowadays! They are our boys, Samoa’s boys!


Ryan Christian Flor Nemes

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