Samoa, a mystery no more after rugby tour
Samoa is no longer a mystery for 21 players of the Southern Cross Campus first XV.
A week long rugby tour of Upolu and Savai’i last month saw them return all the more knowledgeable for having seen the country and its people first hand and with a better appreciation of life in the islands, the culture and the food.
The visit to Upolu and Savai’i was led by college director, Warren Waetford and deputy director and head of rugby, Selaima Tulai and cost each student $1600 each.
Tulai says the visit was as much an eye opener for the 16 Samoans in the squad as it was for the two Tongans, two Cooks Islanders and lone Vietnamese player.
‘‘The trip’s main focal areas were to let the players experience a different culture and lifestyle, build networks and connections through touring and vocational pathways and opportunities through sports.
‘‘This was also the first time ever that the Southern Cross Campus sports colours were worn on foreign territory.’’
Southern Cross played Savai’i’s Tuasivi College and lost 14-7 and Upolu’s Leulumoega College and lost 21-10.
The defeats failed to dampen the tour as the following responses make clear.
‘‘I got to meet my extended family in Samoa,’’ Year 13 student Ropati Tesimale says.
’’I learned what it means to actually represent your school and yourself as a person playing overseas,’’ Dorsyin Tumupu-Kato says.
And Tommy Aoelua’s take on the tour was: ‘‘Everything was awesome. The sun was awesome, the people were friendly and we created a bond as a team.’’
Southern Cross Campus students, Ropati Tesimale, left, and Tasi Masau were part of a traditional kava ceremony.