Mu’a Saints from Tonga won against Samoa’s Apia Barracudas in the Vailima Toa Gas competition yesterday.
The match was held at the Marist Complex, Lotopa and it was also the first time for Mu’a Saints to compete in Samoa.
It was a challenging match for both teams which resulted in 36-30 full time points. The major sponsor for this event was the Vailima Breweries.
Tongan supporters came out in numbers to support their team. Manager of the Mu’a Saints, Samuela Kuita Vaipulu Misini said being in Samoa for the Independence Day and to play against the Apia Baracuddas were good experiences.
“It is a new experience for us to be here in Samoa. For some of us this is our first time in Samoa and for the others, it is their second time being here. We are very humbled to be here and seeing everyone happy and enjoying the game is lovely.”
“I am just so speechless and thankful to God for he has done it all for us. He made this all happen. We are grateful for all the people and companies that have supported us. This is for all our youth and youngsters in Tonga. I am very happy to be here and meeting everyone.”
“Being surrounded in an environment that is filled with joy is something that cannot be bought. To see how happy everyone is and that is the key for the game is everybody being happy and fair,” he said.
Mr. Misini highlighted the importance of these tournaments in building a platform for the players.
“That is the focus that we have, for the young children to develop their skills in rugby league, to learn and for somebody to see them playing will provide an opportunity to move up somewhere else and help their families.”
“This is why these tournaments are important,” he said.
“Another thing with the generations nowadays, this is one way of keeping them busy and to avoid trouble. To prevent them from doing what they are not supposed to be doing.”
“Keeping them busy to not be in a situation that is bad, but just being on the field would give them a future.”
Samoa Rugby League President, Su’a Fa’afouina Tagaloa Su’a, has invited Mu’a Saints to next year’s Marist competition in also a touch competition to be held in Samoa.