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'Ikale Tahi hides its secret weapon



Would you please tell me what is going on with our National Rugby Union team? Have team members been selected yet for this year's Rugby World Cup in France? Is there a coach in place? Is the rugby committee formed with their main objective for the year: to win the world cup in France 2007 or thereabouts?

Normally at this time of the rugby world cup year our national team would have already been named and their objective to go forth and do us proud is clear. But it seems as if we'll be the last team out of all those competing at this year's world cup to name their team. What message do you think that is sending out to the rest of the world cup contenders? Hmm, how many pages do you want this letter to be?

I put this simple question to you Editor and to all the rugby union loving fans out there in Tonga, is it too much for our little country to sort themselves out when it comes to rugby? Is it that difficult to put a team and management team together before a major tournament? Why are we always the last to ever do anything? Is it a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians in our invisible committee? Would the management team of our National Women's Netball team be better suited to running our national rugby team? When it comes to choosing management, is it too much to ask for someone who knows 50% of what he's supposed to do as chairman/coach/player etc.? And when choosing our team players, is it also possible to choose them on merit instead of "because he knows who and what, what, what"!

As a nation we are well known for producing good and wholesome athletes and our rugby players are well sought after by teams all over the world. Why is it that when they come together to play in our national team they fumble and appear to be second rate? Is it because they play only for themselves and not the whole team? Is passing the ball to your team mate to score a possible try out of the question when you yourself cannot find the try line? [NB: Coach to teach team the basics of passing the ball and the morality this involves] I know our team appear as one but playing the game is something else altogether. Just when you think they are gelling together as a tight unit, a player would rather be tackled by the opposing team than release the ball to his team-mate who is in the clear to score the ball for us. Yes, many a times I have heard that tunnel vision is to blame but I think selfishness is more closer to the truth, unless our team can play as one team we will never progress past the opening pools.

To the players whoever you may be: when you come to France at the end of this year and you try your hardest to play well but end up losing anyway, please don't use this excuse of "Oh, we could have beat them if we wanted to" because it's just not going to work. Please note that having perfect abs and the power to crash into an opponent and remain standing is not the only way to play rugby. Use your brains at all times and the rest will fall into place. I know it's good to have belief in oneself but to be narcissistic is something else altogether, especially when the scoreboard belies a different story to what you have just given me. Please just try your best, that is all we ask.

Malo aupito

Vain Maka

vmaka [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk