Friday, September 9, 2011

All Blacks Please

 Rugby is a game played by two teams of 15 players. On each team over a rectangular field 110 yards long. With goal lines and goal posts at either end, the object being to run with an oval ball across the opponent's goal line or kick it through the upper portion of the goal posts, with forward passing and time-outs not permitted. That doesn't even begin to explain how intense a game can be. Whether it's watched over tv, internet or in person live up close & personal. I was first introduced to the game of rugby when we moved to Utah back in 1992 from Carson, California. A sport that seem to be a very big deal to the Tongan Community here. Coming from Cali all we were aware of was the game of American Football, Baseball/Softball & Cricket. Oh yes! And our L.A Lakers & Dodgers So when we'd see people in stripe lined up rugby shirts. All I thought was ahhh that's coo.. Must mean something important to them.. If their sporting that sorta gear to school. But I really didn't even know to the magnitude of it all. What it meant to them.
 It wasn't until 2008  during our Mapu Family Reunion. We setup a fundraiser held at the Tongan Friendly Islands Festival in Murry,Utah. And in between breaks. I was able to attend bits & pieces of  partial games. Local teams proving themselves on the field. And because I was working so very hard at the food Cottoncandy up to my neck :) hahaha I still didn't comprehend the buzz about this sport. It really didn't become a big deal to me til the following summer of 2009. During  the same Festival we attended the summer before. In the company of a good friend. Kolo Funaki & sisterfamz Connie Faletea. This was when my rugby admiration & respect for the game. And these warrioring players grew. The guts it took to take slugs left & right. Then power through rain & heat to get a score up endless ground running over a massive field. Whether muddy from the rain or scorching hot sun & body heat. You could do nothing but give them props for their dedication. And that was the year I understood clearly. To a small degree what these players sacrificed to be a solid rugby player. Weaving a desire & courage to attend yearly events like these. And battle through a rugby season no matter the win or defeat that may come. 
Eventually I went out to try this sport for myself. I went out  for a local womens team this past summer 2011. Sorry to report that was short lived. How short? You'll just have to But I wasn't cut out for it. And grateful for the opportunity to try out for the Lady Pink Panthers. Suitable name for me. Since I'm such a  Though the team encouragment to stick with it was heartfelt. I came to the conclusion.  I was more suited in cheering from the side rather then But what an experience to witness how they prepare. Both mentally & physically to complete one goal. Working as a team to win. But if defeat was their destiny they'd still be their for one another & regroup for the next match in unity. That was something beautiful I had to recognize & never forget.
So around 2am this morning via comcast cable the World Cup Rugby Tournment opened in New Zealand. Two polynesian teams one known as  Tonga "Ikale Tahi" vs. world famous  New Zealand "All Blacks". So like I said my passion for the game didn't come into full birth. Not until that summer of 2009 at the T.Festival and before anyone goes labeling me a "bandwagon fan" let the record show my loyalites spring from a great love of the New Zealand people. And the "All Blacks" are just a bonus to the great love I have for their country & the MANA (Spirit) they possess. Which reflects through the way they present themselves on & off the field. So my two teams are NZ All Blacks & Manu Samoa. But between the those two teams if I had to pick. I couldn't but if I had to absolutely had to pick. It would be for whoever is the underdawg during their game. There's just something magical about seeing an underdawg capture a win. Not just in the game of rugby but in life in general.

There's something that just has to be said about a man that has drive, determination , power & composure that is super attractive.  Professionally & fun that these images capture.  Ladies that I hope you enjoy. Cause it's not just about their pretty faces & hot bodies though it is a definate plus. :) That make up the game of Rugby that I personally respect. :) But that their living their dreams is what is remarkable. I guess what I'm saying is I heart NZ All Blacks. Bottomline  truely for their MANA. And this mornings game was well worth staying up late for to become a true fan.
 Final score NZ All Blacks 41 & Tonga 10.. May the final team prevail at the end!

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