IRB Wellington Sevens

It's Friday Morning ...

There are few moments that I actually miss being a student. (if you don't count every time I'm feeling frustrated at work - which is every second day of my life... but let's pretend I love my job... yep, pretending real hard right now...) Today, more than many other days I'd gladly sacrifice sitting in my air-con office going through the motions of my utterly rewarding job for the books and the budget-less student life. Although there must have been moments of joy scattered in around there somewhere, the harrowing effects of hostel food and three day hangovers – have me in no hurry to return. Yes, the student life, when alcohol tolerance and stress levels were high, and loose change and excuses for assignment extensions were running desperately low. The sole reason I would be willing to momentarily put myself through that torture again is that at the moment in Wellington, it's SEVENS WEEKEND!!!

The two day seven a side rugby tournament sets the whole place alive with activity and the atmosphere in the city right now is just electric! Not to mention all the rugby boys out on the town at night!

Non important by-note: [Now, I have admit that as of late, my attention to the rugby has been downright pitiful. I've barely stolen the occasional glance at the TV at some of the NPC and International stuff lately, I haven't even browsed Rugby Heaven lately. *Gulp* I know, I am ashamed of myself... not worthy of the label - DEVOTED RUGBY FAN!!! The shame, the shame! Anyways, it being the beginning of the year and all... I reserve the right to bring to the attention of the jury the "New Years Resolution Clause" which undoubtedly pardons any wrongdoing in the previous year! So I hearby, clear the slate! ]

Samoa's had something of a tumultuous Rugby Sevens history littered with shoulda, coulda wouldas. The tournament has always been dominated by New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. Lucky for the Fijians because they kinda suck at 15s rugby.

There was that one glory day that Samoa, led from the front by local man Lilomaivava Taufusi Salesa, won the coveted Hong Kong Sevens Cup back in 1993. Despite the fact that the 1993 Hong Kong Sevens is remember as the year the man known as the world's most prolific streaker, Mark Roberts, streaked at the Sevens, it was one of the few moments I ever saw my father cry. And THAT is saying something. Yes, quite an emotional man that father of mine.

We haven't become eventual winner's very often but even the most staunch Aussie/ New Zealand/ Fijian supporter can't deny that we have always proved a formidable force.

So, Day 1 of the IRB Wellington Sevens is complete and the most important news of the day: Samoa is in the Quarter Finals!!! Go Blue!!! I can't help but feel a sense of deja vu, a spooky familiarity going into todays' games. We make the quarters/ semis - just about every tourney. We just have this uncanny knack for going in with a blaze of promise, only to burn out/ and finish on a rather anti-climax note like bowing out in the quarters and winning the plate or worse... losing the plate finals. Some kind of curse maybe? It seems we perform well on the underdog status and just succumb to the pressure of the big day when the real efforts are required. Granted, we've got talent and strength, but is that enough? It's seems history hasn't been our side.

There are a few new faces in the team this year and I'm proudest to say that they are all our local boys. We had a close encounter with Cook Islands and an even closer one with New Zealand. I think I kept the neighbours up last night as I cheered with excitement and then cursed to the skies when Uale Mai missed the winning kick in our game with NZ. Today, not surprisingly, I am have a myriad of rugby websites open on my desktop hidden beneath the surface of my untouched excel spreadsheets. I'm planning a prolonged "toilet break" or perhaps a sudden spell of nausea, at exactly 2.55pm so I can escape and watch our game. Today, I cast aside my doubts send you vibes of luck and love Manu!
It's now Friday Afternoon ...

I've just returned from well timed "toilet break/ nausea attack" and I think now I really am nauseous... I won't beat around the bush.

Yea just a BIT!

I hate to be the one to say this but we sucked. We totally scraped the bottom of sucker barrel. Scratched our way through the bottom with our fingernails even. It happened exactly as I’d dreaded. It’s one of those times where I hate being right. Which is seldom.

We were so close… we could have… should have…

*fights back tears of disappointment*

I’m too depressed to talk about this right now.

Today is Sunday Afternoon ...

Apparently, I was too depressed to even post this blog up.

Well, it’s been two days, so I’ve had sufficient time to break down that wall, build the bridge and get over our disappointing loss.

*fights back more tears*

At the end of this all there is ONE good reason to keep watching…

For the love of the game?

Go figure. ;)