by Alan Ah Mu
APIA: TUESDAY 21 MAY 2013: It took three seconds for David to TKO Goliath.
Couched in boxing terms that Biblical clash was referred to by Samoa Rugby Union chairman Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, as an example of how brains beat brawn at the farewell for the national Under 20s team held this morning.
Look not at the size of opponents from New Zealand and South Africa and do not be afraid of a single person, Tuilaepa told the players, who leave today for their Junior World Championship campaign in France.
Use the mind like David to weaken strength, he said, like run elusively, use the short kick and to pass and not try to be a hero.
Samoa enter the World Cup ranked 22nd on the U20s ladder.
“The challenge to the coach and the selected players is to lift our ranking or to return with our cup,” said the SRU chairman.
“Do not touch alcohol while the tournament is on,” he said.
Do not in twos or threes, sneak off for a drink when the coach is dead asleep, he said.
Tuilaepa told the audience of players, their parents and relatives and SRU executives of Manu Samoa players who went out all night on the booze and the next day lost to Fiji.
In the prayer service to start the farewell Rev. Fuamai Samuelu referred to instances in the Bible when God gave opportunities to young men with rising strength of mind and body to serve.
Like Moses who was given the chance to take his people out of Egypt, said Rev. Samuelu.
“This is your opportunity,” he told the U20s team, to serve SRU, their families and their country.
For the players too this was the path to achieve Manu Samoa status and contracts with overseas clubs, he said.
But beware, warned the reverend, of being a know-all, disobedience and a desire for fame because that was how King Saul lost his crown to David.
The U20 team have a warm up game against Counties U20 on 23 May, in New Zealand, then head to France.
They first play Wales (5 June), followed by Argentina (9 June) with Scotland (13 June) their final opponents in the pool games.
The team is:
Front Row:-Sam Ah Sam (captain), Travis Mauu, Carisbrook Toomalatai, Mike Sosene, Sebastian Siataga,Ezrah Amituanai, Andrew Broomhall.
Locks: Ben Chan, Natal Malaki, Brian Aliinuuese, Tofatuimoana Solia.
Loosies: Tofamamao Lemalu, Beau Birthwhistle, Mathew Elia, Elekama Laupola, Matt Peni.
Half : Rameka Uitime Paraki, Scott Malolua.
First Fives: Aj Alatimu, Calvary Fonoti
Midfields: Alefosio Tapili, Potoae Sasagi, Fomai Ah Ki, Olando Niko Malo
Wings: Jason Tagiilima, Samoa Toloa, Meilani Vai, Eti Slater.
Reserves: London Leuma, Elekana Su’a, Malcolm Muliaga, Jordan Pereira, Faatafa Maiava, Falanisisi Leuita, Harry Luteru.
Management: Head Coach Viliamu Punivalu, Assistant Coach Malo Nofoagatatau, Team Manager Andy Ripley, Match Doctor Dr Areta Samuelu, Physiotherapist Pat Moorer, Trainer Dan Peacork.