HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 432 : 05 November 2008

Apia Park to add Samoa Flavour to Sevens

An initiative by Vaivase Samania has resulted in his home land Samoa being represented in the International Rugby Sevens by Apia Park.
“With a few Samoan boys now living and working in the Cook Islands I felt as a team we could add a bit of international flavor to this year’s rugby sevens tournament”, said Samania.
A regular Cook Islands Rugby Sevens representative he said this was one of the few opportunities he and his Samoan countrymen could represent their heritage. “Most of us are now married to or have Cook Island partners, for a few days, they could pretend to be Samoans,” said the Cook Islands Samoa Community President Navy Epati. “Who needs the laughing Samoans when we have the Apia Park team” laughed Epati.
Samania claims the local imports sneaked in because some of the Samoan boys are carrying soccer injuries including himself.
“Our ring ins all have ancestry links to Samoa including the sponsor,” claims Epati (still laughing). Sponsoring the team is the yet to be launched Fetū FM radio station which is a part of Star Network owned by Pitt Media Group’s George Pitt.
“Obviously Vaivase has picked up a bad Cook Island habit,” said Pitt, “While he was in Samoa in July for the World Cup Rugby Sevens qualifiers he asked me to sponsor the team, that’s before the business has earned its first dollar”.
Part of the reason for forming a Samoan team was to be in a position to receive an invitation to participate in the Marist Brothers Rugby Club’s huge annual Rugby Sevens tournament held in March each year at Apia Park in Samoa.
We definitely need to win the Cook Islands tournament so we can pay our airfares to the Marist Brothers Sevens said Samania.
“We will all be at the National Stadium in full force,” said Epati, “The whole thirty of us Samoans living in the Cook Islands will be there to support the boys.”
“We will be issuing honorary citizenships including a passport stamp for $100 at the field on Friday and Saturday so that you can qualify to buy one of our $35 “T” shirts to wear as you cheer for Apia Park,” said Epati.
“We tried to get the organizers to change the dates of the tournament because Jerry Collins, Wiki, Sonny Bill Williams and a host of other Samoan International league and rugby players will be on Rarotonga for Kiwi Captain Roy Asotasi’s wedding. We wanted to get them to play in the Apia Park team,” said Epati
Despite lacking major sponsor for this year’s tournament the organizers are optimistic it will be highly entertaining and competitive.
See you all at the National Stadium for a 2pm kickoff on Friday.

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