25 October 2011

a new day has begun

Photo .. My favourite moment of the Rugby World Cup.
A beautiful and warming moment for all the world to see.

As they say, all good things must come to an end and here is the end of what has been a whirlwind six weeks that has well and truly reignited my love for rugby.  I went as far as purchasing a game ticket, a Manu jersey and three large Samoan flags - big deal kind of stuff for me!

The last time the All Blacks were in a Rugby World Cup final, I was a little girl in primary school.  I still remember the game as if it were yesterday.  Last night the anticipation was the same, the excitement greater.

One cannot talk about that Rugby World Cup in 1995 without saying the name Jonah Lomu.  As that little girl, I watched Jonah, amazed by the sheer strength an determination he possessed.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I exited an Auckland Hospital elevator only to be amazed yet again, by the strength and determination of Jonah as he sat in a hospital foyer waiting to go home.  Jonah's induction to the IRB Hall of Fame is well deserved.

Just before the game last night, I was confident the Webb Ellis Cup was in New Zealand to stay and ever conscious the French were not going to go down without giving it everything they had.  From what I have seen in media, the French have been gracious in defeat and the All Blacks have been, in one word, celebrating!

This is me - Teine 'Afakasi.

04 October 2011

kiss me, i'm irish.

Even though the Rugby World Cup pool matches are over, I want to take you back to the night of September 17, when Ireland rose victorious against the Wallabies.

It had not occurred to me to make the concerted effort to watch the game, and it was only the enthusiasm of a friend's fiancée that turned my attention to the television.  I was thinking to myself, why would I want to watch a game where it is not my beloved Manu Samoa playing?

In the early stages of the game it was quite obvious the household would have been happy with any winner on the night, as long as it was not Australia, which suited me just fine being loyal to the land of my birth.

At half-time, the game was locked 6-6 and I could feel some part of my being unfurling.  Then when the final whistle blew, I sat back in my chair with a sense of elation, not because Australia had been defeated.  No, I was elated because Ireland had won.

Amidst all the screaming and cheering and frightening my two-year-old niece (who did not know whether to laugh or cry staring at all the crazed adults in the room) an apple came crashing from the sky, smacking me nicely in the head.  I remembered, during of all things, a rugby game, that I have Irish blood running though my veins too.  Truly I do.

This is me - Teine 'Afakasi.