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Australia had better hope that Western Samoa claim some big scalps in the upcoming World Cup, or July 17th will forever be a National Day of Celebration in Western Samoa.

 

Samoa has a population of only 170,000. Most people still live a traditional life, in which most of the day is spent in communal activity. Sport is a feature of daily life. Sunday is reserved as God’s day, and the different denominations represented in each village will gather in their own church before coming together for a Fia Fia. Saturday is devoted to the one religion that unites each village in war against it’s neighbours – Rugby.

 

When we travelled in Samoa last year, the country was celebrating it’s victory in the World Rugby Sevens championship. It is not a team that should be underestimated.

 

The Wallabies today were rocked by the ferocity of the Samoan game. The men in Blue have always been known for their physicality and attacking flare – today they demonstrated structure and consistency in defense, and the Wallabies had no answer. Many of the best Samoan players now play for European clubs, and are available for their national team, rather then being adopted by New Zealand or Australia.

 

Samoa beat the Welsh in the World Cup, and that event remains central to Samoan rugby lore. The Welsh will now be very happy to share their prominent role in Samoa’s rugby history with the Australians.

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