‘PNC Rugby Breaking News’, almost felt like a ‘fair dinkum’ expression, to illustrate the Manu’s 25 – 17 victory against Tonga’s Ikale Tahi, during this weekend’s Pacific Nations’ Cup opener.
At least the local media could be condoned for conveying so; in sharing the delightful account of the Manu Samoa’s much awaited and heavily anticipated win, after what felt like a long spell of losses and near misses.
Some may have concluded that PM Stui’s friendly chiding earlier in the week before the announcement of the 15 selected squad, where the Savali Newspaper quoted him urging the Team to “..bear in mind, your supporters are expecting you to lead and win”; in his address as the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union Board. [“Manatua lelei, e le sili le tapua’i ae sili le ta’i manumalo”]In addition, the generosity shown by the local as well as American Samoa fans of Manu, with an outpour of more than SAT$250,000 raised to date , to assist with the preparation leading up to the World Cup in Japan this coming September ; would have been a fabulous incentive. All the more reason for Manu to be motivated to come out tops, especially during the final minutes of the pulse pumping second half of the match.
The scattered downpours of rain didn’t deter anyone either. For Manu and their supporters, grabbing first place was not negotiable.
Such was the local community’s centre of attention; so much so that even the overnight transit visit en route to Tokelau by NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern almost dwarfed to oblivion. Shortly after touchdown, Honourable Ardern was reported to have officiated in the unveiling of the Save the Manumea mural as well as the launch of the Save the Manumea National Strategy, which is a conservation project jointly co-ordinated by the NZ High Commission, the MNRE (Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment) as well as the Samoa Conservation Society.
She also managed to check out the NZ government-funded beautification project, the Apia Waterfront Events Space and Clock Tower Boulevard, before settling into the nitty gritty of bilateral discussions with PM Tuilaepa. Prime Minister Ardern and her entourage were scheduled to fly out to Tokelau, earlier today.By : Hannah Sila
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