Samoans celebrate at Auckland and at home

Samoans celebrate at Auckland and at home

Manu Samoa supporters in Samoa crowded around big-screen TVs to catch today's historic first Test between the home team and the All Blacks in Samoa.

Back in New Zealand, one popular spot was at Keven Mealamu's Otahuhu Rugby Club in south Auckland. At a rugby club 2900 kilometres from Apia, generations of Samoans gathered – hundreds of them.

They were excited, proud and in the mood to party. It was the next best thing to being at the game back home.

Before kick-off, a traditional psalm and a prayer from a Samoan reverend was said, a Manu Samoa cap at hand. Kava was shared, smiles widened.

Tautai Tofaeono used to play for Manu Samoa. He just missed out on playing against the All Blacks in the 1993 because of injury. He wished he was on the field today.

For 70 minutes, the people cheered and celebrated. They didn't care who scored, who converted, who tackled, who won.

With 10 minutes to go someone pulled the plug on the TV, but the people didn't care; they just continue to celebrate Samoan style.

It came back on at full-time. They didn't care about the score, only that it was finally played at home. That for them was the ultimate success – Samoa pride.

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