Manu Samoa blame the environment for consistently losing!

Dear Editor,

Over the past few years, you and I have pointed out our disappointments toward the SRU for the underperforming 7s and 15s team.  Added to that list is the 13s team, for a winless Rugby League World Cup campaign.

Since you and I have grown tired of barking our complaints to no avail it’s time to point our barrel somewhere else for the sake of our health. 

In the course of my ridiculous fault-finding efforts, I finally found something, not someone, to blame! 

Based on my clumsy investigation, the environment is to blame for our routinary defeats in the 7s and 15s rugby, including our 13s rugby league code.

Sounds ridiculous aye? But before you start mocking and start throwing your kitchen sink, kindly hear my ridiculous claim and check if my somewhat ridiculous claim holds a certain degree of sanity.

Ancient Ancestors

Thousands of years ago, our Pacific ancestors enjoyed an easier existence than the ancestors of the Caucasians because of the differences in their environment.

Our ancestors were blessed, as we are today, to have a favourable environment wherein she provides for their most basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. 

Then and now, our land is blessed with a fertility of a young woman’s womb wherein virtually any tropical seeds can germinate on its own without human hands to till. 

Most of our ancestors would most likely get up, walk a little, then harvest their food from their surroundings, with little or no effort at all. 

Occasionally, they might go out hunting or fishing for animal meat when they get tired with whatever staple food they had. Besides, why would you put yourself in a dangerous predicament by hunting wild animals, or go out fishing often, when you can have your food on a silver platter without much to do. So long as the belly is full, all must be good in paradise.

Furthermore, our ancestors did not need thick clothing to protect themselves from winter frost and chilling wind during winter times. Who cares if they only wear baby’s clothes from morning ‘till night when their bodies are used to tropical climate?

Around this time, Levi Strauss or Gucci and Gabbana were not around to boss them around what style is fashionable and which one is not. With style or no style, who cares really!

Needless to say, the tropical climate is an ally of our Pacific ancestors. For this reason, they need not have a four-walled house and a sealed-ceiling shelter to protect them from hazards of the natural elements.

All they need is an easy-to-build and easy- to-demolish type of shelters to protect them from the harmful elements, including wild animals that see them as good mid-night snacks. 

How hard could it be to live in such conditions, when simplicity is explicitly a thing of beauty--easy life in paradise--after all, why call paradise when you have to work so hard for something aye? 

On the other side of the world, the Caucasian’s ancestors have a completely different living conditions because of their environment.

Acquisition of sufficient food, appropriate clothing, and adequate shelter must be problematic at all times for these ancient Caucasian ancestors. 

The ancient Caucasians had to look harder than their tropical mates in order to produce food from the rather infertile soil. Not only they had to till the ground often, they also had to travel far and wide to secure food any means necessary including hunting for wild animals. 

And the dilemma is compounded when agriculture is not even a known thingy. Further yet, the problem is exponentially greater when you have four different weather conditions to deal with every single year for hundreds of thousands of years. 

They had to have specialized clothing to cover themselves from the frost and cold of winter. An ability to look for the best clothing for winter, plus, the know-how to dry and use animal fur, were only a few challenges the Caucasians needed to address to survive.

Moreover, a suitable shelter is needed to keep them warm from the winter weather. Again, special materials to build their houses, not just some sticks and thatch, to make sure they don’t sleep and die because of winter cold. 

Each season represents different challenges that the ancient Caucasians must adjust and adapt to survive. 

While our Pacific ancestors on the other side of the world were sunbathing!

But the advantages of living in tropical climate stops there!

For hundreds of thousands of years, the ancient ancestors of the Caucasians developed complex brain functions as they tackle these environmentally-induced challenges. Their environment presents a far harsher condition; a perfect training ground to push them to their limits, so they are forced to plan effectively, and likely, they had to plan well in advance.

As a result, they become more resilient, creative, and innovative in the face of adversities because they are conditioned in such environment.

Along the way, innovative and creative set of skills are developed slowly over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that allowed the ancient Caucasians to survive and thrive in harsh conditions. 

‘What does not kill you makes you stronger,” or in their case, makes them smarter.

Part of me believes that this was the case for the ancient Caucasians. 

While our Pacific ancestors had a relatively easier life because of their favourable environment. On the surface, this must be good for our Pacific ancestors, but on the flip side, the environment actually deprived them of developing innovative set of skills over thousands of years.

An unchallenged brain becomes dull over time much like a machete, it becomes dull and rusty, when unused for a period of time. 

The result is not pretty, we have underdeveloped innovative and creative skills because of our friendlier tropical environment. Not our fault really, it’s just beyond our control. 

The same can be applied in the game of rugby, especially in the most recent games at the Rugby League World Cup and the Northern tour by the Pacific teams. I have the results to prove my argument.

As rugby fans, we have to be brutally honest about our teams’ inferior creativity skills that always cost us winnable games after games. 

Yes, we can think, analyze, and able to create something wonderful but generally speaking, Pacific Islanders are still in the ‘imitating stage’; we follow what we see. There is nothing wrong with imitating a few good things now and then. But to rise above the competitions, one has to be innovative and creative to make something out of nothing, especially when things get tough and rough. In short, innovative and creative minds will be at the advantage always, especially when paired with hard work.

And since most present-day Caucasians have the work ethic to go along with their innovative and creative set of skills developed over hundreds of thousands of years, they always go a long way than us, the Pacific Islanders, in the rugby field and beyond. 

For some of you who might accuse me of stereotyping or even playing the race card, I leave that to you to judge my opinion. 

As the adage says, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard,” but when talent works hard great things happen.

For what is worth, we are not alone in this because our Pacific brothers have similar fate with us. I believe this is one of the main reasons why we barely win any major world championships. New Zealand is an anomaly because they are mostly of European descent mixed with native Pacific Islanders.

I’ve seen how the Caucasian-lead teams able to be triumphant and with more consistency than the Pacific-islander-lead teams. They even outplay us in our own game of rugby where size, speed, and natural skills are needed but our advantages are nullified with their innovative and creative prowess.  

Have you seen how the Kangaroos played us around, how the All Blacks embarrassed us all the time, and how these Caucasian-lead teams do exactly the same to our Pacific brothers?

Just imagine this sweet preposition; have Cameron Smith lead Samoa, Tonga or Fiji dictate our plays and you’ll see how easy we can beat tier 1 teams in either code. The All Blacks, the Kangaroos, and the Rose of England all have very talented Pacific Islanders but they are all led by the Caucasian play-makers.

It’s not the skills and talents, we have in abundance of it; it’s not the hearts, we have the biggest hearts, it’s not the self-confidence either because we have a certain level of it.

It is NEVER about the race! I never suggest we are inferior mentally because of, suggesting otherwise is preposterous!

It is about the environment with which our Pacific ancestors grew up that provides an easy-go-lucky attitude amongst us.

So the next time we lose, blame the environment; cut more trees and etc. and don’t blame the SRU, the coach, the players or even the opposing teams, don’t get irritated with your husband, your wife, or your neighbours otherwise you’ll get in trouble. Put the blame on the environment and you will have a longer life! Lol.


Ryan Christian Flores Nemes

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