PRC- Heart of Gold
Tonga’s golden team strikes gold in Samoa. Tautahi Gold wooden spooners in 2007 wins Pacific rugby supremacy for 2008—the Pacific Rugby Cup.
The finals in front of a near capacity Apia Park crowd was played in true Pacific style. Ruthless in the forwards and unforgiving in the rucks and mauls with plenty of spot tackles. In this trench warfare Tonga’s Rugby World Cup star Nili Latu stood out. First to the breakdown creating havoc and forcing a constant stream of turn-overs frustrating Upolu to errors.
Man of the match, Tautahi fullback, Sitaleki Lu’au was a constant threat on attack. Scoring the only try six minutes into the game and kicking a 45m penalty that kept Upolu under pressure.
Disappointed Upolu Head Coach Selefuti Patu said, “We have the game plan, but unlike last week, we didn’t put it into practice. Our players lacked today what Tautahi brought to the field—they played from their heart and made things happen.”
Many Samoan supporters agreed with Selefuti that Tautahi played with power and purpose, and deserved to be crowned Pacific champions for 2008. Announcer Junior Tofilau asked Upolu Manager Ryan Schuster for his comments. Schuster could have said, “Malo Tau, Malie Toa.”
The win by Tautahi repeats Tonga’s rugby world cup performance over Samoa in France 2007. It shows the Pacific’s powerbase slightly shifting to the Kingdom?