Samoa
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Toa Samoa’s Sunday morning victory celebrations in the streets of Apia

Staff Reporters

APIA, SAMOA – 13 NOVEMBER 2022: It’s early Sunday morning when many Samoans should be at morning Mass.

But minutes to 600am instead, they are already celebrating on the roads and mainly in the streets of the capital Apia.

Traffic jams, as bumper to bumper horn tooting vehicles and young noisy fans carrying flags and shouting the Toa Samoa war cry – kiususu, fill the usually quiet Sunday morning streets.

A few minutes before, Toa Samoa had beaten England 27-26 in extra time creating history for a first Pacific island nation to reach the Rugby League World Cup finals.

Samoans in Samoa, New Zealand and Australia and other countries had been united behind the team since Toa Samoa turned around after a shocking first match loss to England by 54 points.

Car rallies driving around Samoa on the main island Upolu and the larger island Savaii, had garnered support with supporters using everything from rubbish bins with wheels, to supermarket trollies, home-made children’s toys using corned beef tin cans as tyres; and 6 ton trucks, buses and vehicles in all shapes and sizes draped in the national flag that had already been sold out during the past weeks of the tournament. They all joined the car rallies in support of the team.

One famous participant, was 16 year old Suliveta pushing along Beach Road as part of the rally, his younger brother sitting on a  shopping trolley flying the Samoan flag and their pet dog running on their side.

Although Suliveta was later held by police for a matter unrelated to Toa Samoa celebrations, all joined united behind Toa Samoa as it progressed to create history and name for their island nation and people on the world stage.

More celebrations images later.