Samoans proud of Toa Samoa's journey
The result of the Rugby League World Cup final did not dampen the high spirits of Toa Samoa fans and supporters who still proudly waved Samoan flags after the game on Sunday morning.
Toa Samoa definitely won the hearts of Samoans and supporters across the globe.
Supporters from around the world gathered in groups to watch the finale of the RLWC2021 match between Toa Samoa and Australia.
And despite the result, most still stayed back and celebrated the team's momentous achievement in this year's world cup showing their pride and patriotism for their home country's national team.
Toa Samoa scored two tries in this year's final in Manchester which was more than enough for the fans and supporters across the globe.
In an interview with the RNZ, Samoan Community Leader in Otara, Jerome Mika, said: "Samoa has still won."
"I'm feeling proud of our boys, it's just awesome to see our nation reach the final of the World Cup," Mr. Mika told RNZ.
"They've just put us on the map and I'm really, really proud of them. There's a lot of pride in the Samoan community here.
"We've won the hearts and minds of our people."
The result of the game did not also dampen the spirits of the Samoans who gathered at the Apia Park stadium to watch the final showdown of this year's Rugby World Cup on the big screen.
Among the crowd were Cabinet Ministers as well as Associate Ministers who joined members of the public who started gathering at Apia Park from 1 am on Sunday.
The proud Samoan supporters were still in high spirits waving their Samoan flags to acknowledge the boys in blue and their RLWC2021 journey.
One happy supporter, Nua Mata'ita'i from Moata'a said that the Toa Samoa team had already won even before the final against Australia.
"Seeing all the supporters and Samoans not only here but also across the globe, uniting, parading and marching together is a massive win on its own for our boys in blue," Nua said.
"It's a historic time for our small island nation and we are so proud for the dedication our boys managed to deliver during this world cup.
"I'm sure the true supporters can agree with me on that and it's just the beginning for more great things in the future for our team. Well done to the coach, manager and our players for achieving what they had achieved and for putting Samoa on the map."
There were fireworks and celebrations by Samoans in America, Australia and New Zealand to celebrate despite the result.
Toa Samoa supporters and fan also flooded social media on Sunday morning with their congratulatory posts for the players and the team who created history as the first Pacific Island country to have played in a Rugby League World Cup final.
Former Manu Samoa player and lawyer, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu described the Toa Samoa team as "game changers."
He made reference to Seiuli's Dwayne Johnson's 300 million followers, Pacific NFL players as well as pro athletes who all came forth and rendered their support for the Toa Samoa team ahead of the final match against Australia.
"Literally half a billion people reached this week," Sapolu wrote.
"Toa (Samoa) not just put Samoa out there but they also giving Rugby League a huge new audience."
Pastor Eric Poe was of the view that the Toa Samoa won the hearts of everyone in the world.
"Australia won the cup, for they will forget after their party tonight. But Toa won our hearts and we will never forget what you have done for our people," he said.
During church service on Sunday morning, the Congregational Christian Church Samoa at Faletagaloa Safune acknowledged the achievements by the Toa Samoa team giving them a huge round of applause.
Another proud Samoan, RJ Crichton wrote: "We are our own biggest critics, but also our biggest supporters. It also means, you're not allowed to criticise our kind unless you are our kind; funny but true. We even come after you on social media right after we criticise our own.
"Thank you Toa Samoa. What a build up for the next world cup. Now we going to see young talents fighting for a spot for that blue jersey."
Young wins 5000m at 52
The oldest competitor in the 5000m race, 52-year-old Darren Young has shown how i...
By Shalveen Chand • 27 May 2023, 5:11PM
Barracudas win Samoa Games league gold
Apia Barracudas won the Samoa Games rugby league nines with a 10-8 victory over Le...
By Gutu Faasau • 27 May 2023, 7:56PM
Samoa women get sports leadership opportunity
Samoa along with other Pacific nations has been chosen for the pilot of the Pacifi...
By Gutu Faasau • 30 May 2023, 4:58PM