Back to blue

By Marj Moore 24 May 2016, 12:00AM

With the euphoria around Lupesoliai’s win dying down our attention is now moving forward to his next fight and opponent. 

It’s hard to summon up much sympathy for the squealing of Duco Events promoter, Dean Lonergan who is threatening to sue those who live-streamed the fight.

This is particularly so when it has been alleged he was charging the same price as that asked for the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight.

So with that to the side for now, many of us are now turning back to our national passion, rugby.

With the Sevens success in Paris not yet faded, and our confidence in our team restored, we can only hope that London was merely a glitch along the way.

And along the way, there is that matter of the Olympics up ahead.

While the path to Rio is not yet certain and a wake up call with that loss to Canada to remind us of that, realistically we now know that on the day, any number of teams can shine. 

That includes ours. 

A case in point was Scotland’s first time ever success of making it into the Cup final, let alone winning it.

Who would have thought? It truly was a time for Scotland the Brave.

Meanwhile on the home front, with the Samoa Rugby Union no longer constantly in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it is wonderful to learn that we may be entering an era of real cooperation of individuals and groups in rugby with the words on our front page today from the trusted and true, Mahonri Schwalger.

Rather than being threatened by the emergence of a Samoa Rugby Union Academy alongside his own Rugby Academy of Samoa (R.A.S.), he is welcoming it as added opportunities for not only the very best players, but also those who just need a little extra help to get up amongst that group.

Once again, from his words, it is clear that he still holds to those values we have always admired him for as our Manu Samoa captain and as a respected player in the often unforgiving rugby world of New Zealand.

He is very clear about the differences between the two academies and what they are setting out to achieve.

Certainly in the case of his R.A.S. it makes perfect sense when he points out that inevitably many of our future national players will be chosen from the numbers who are playing in overseas clubs. 

And this is why, he says, the top schools in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington are where he is sending boys from his academy.

It is also a tribute to him that those who admire him, have been willing to support and assist him without the back up of big grants and funding which the S.R.U. is no doubt receiving.  

But he also points with pride at the boys who have gone through his Academy and are now moving up the ranks in the Under 20’s and Samoa A. 

And like the game itself where players tear into each other on the field and then walk off and socialise together afterwards, Mahonri appears to harbour no ill feelings or resentment to the organisation and individuals who turned their backs on the truths he told and then duly ‘shot the messenger’ after that World Cup.

A true sportsman.

By Marj Moore 24 May 2016, 12:00AM

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