Toa Samoa has united all Samoans globally says rugby league boss

By RNZ.co.nz

Toa Samoa players are being hailed for uniting Samoans in Samoa and around the world as they head into the final of the Rugby League World Cup against Australia’s Kangaroos in Manchester this weekend.

Toa Samoa fans in Māngere

Speaking from Apia, the president of Rugby League Samoa, Tagaloa Fa’afouina Su’a, said it’s an “indescribable” feeling since last weekend’s thrilling golden point victory over England in extra time to win 27-26.

“I think the Rugby League World Cup is one of the best things that has happened in the last two or three years for our nation – not just here in Samoa but all around the world. All Samoans around the world and our Pacific island brothers as well and even in New Zealand too because New Zealand is our brother too.”

Tagaloa reflected on Toa Samoa’s dramatic defeat to England 60-6 in the opening game of the tournament.

“It was tough to absorb at the time and you know I think it was a blessing in disguise for us to have that, I would say, very embarrassing situation. But it’s footie. It’s not how we start it, it’s how we end it. It’s always in the boys’ mind, and to move on from that situation after that game.”

The main thing is that everyone in Toa Samoa is “on the same page” with whatever challenges and issues they face.

“We don’t hold any grudges against each other, we just put everything on the table you know – be honest with each other, open-minded and that’s the atmosphere. I think that’s the main thing. No use going into a battle with your mind not free, not relaxed.”

As thousands of Toa Samoa supporters globally gear up to celebrate with car parades and marches, Tagaloa described it as an emotional time and asked fans to celebrate responsibly and respectfully.

“I think that’s how most people feel – very emotional and overwhelmed with what the team has done. It’s just unbelievable.

“In the hearts of Samoan people, the boys are already champions. They don’t have to prove anything else to the world or us. All they need to do is prove it to themselves – that they can go do that extra mile. Just one more.”

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