Samoa, a mys­tery no more after rugby tour

Manukau Courier - - LOCALJOBS - ALAN APTED

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.’’

SUPPLIED

South­ern Cross Cam­pus stu­dents, Ropati Tes­i­male, left, and Tasi Masau were part of a tra­di­tional kava cer­e­mony.

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