To Manu, or not, that was the question last weekend. After coming into the capital for a meeting, I had planned on heading back to my village so I would not miss church in my village…however enough people convinced me that I HAD to see our amazing team play against Australia (Western Force).
When I saw another Savai’iian Peace Corp at the game, who also had not planned on going, she explained it simply. “I was in a taxi on the way to the pasi o va’a, when we passed the team heading to the game. I told the driver to turn around right away. I need to see the rugby game.”
I got to the match about three hours before it was scheduled to start, and I was able to pick out nice lawn seats because of it. It was good to come early because had a lot of pre games ahead of time. My favourite was the Golden Oldies, in which there was a hysterical match between two over 50 teams. The girls also took the field to play in 7’s, and they were pretty good!
When the game started, everyone was excited. I was disappointed to learn that we were seeing the “B” teams, and therefore no Haka or national anthems were performed. (The haka is my favourite part of rugby!) Western Force lead for the first half of the game, but Manu and the fans did not give up. We quite the show with fans in our area, with men attempting cartwheels and dances, while trying to jump over the railing to get onto the field (well, they didn’t try, they succeeded, until the police came…). Manu was strong in the second half and won 35-24.
Today the better teams are playing, and I am sure Manu will also be strong, as they mentioned on TV last night for the opening ceremonies of the South Pacific Games in New Caledonia, The Manu team is one of the bests in the world as they prove it time and time again.