Māngere gets behind Toa Samoa: A celebration to remember
The streets around Māngere have been a sea of red and blue, as thousands expressed their joy at Toa Samoa's recent success at the Rugby League World Cup.
The Samoan men's league team’s historic performances, which saw them defeat Mate Ma’a Tonga and England in the knockout matches, before going down against Australia on November 20, captured the imagination of the community, as they were the first Pacific nation to make a rugby league World Cup final.
Two exciting fanzones were run at David Lange Park and Ihumātao, organised by the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board and the twosevenfive. barbershop respectively, along with a range of other local organisations. Alongside these events, the roads around the Māngere Town Centre have been awash with flags, honking cars and jubilant supporters following Toa Samoa's incredible victories through October and November.
Counties Manukau Rugby League General Manager Kasey King says the success of Toa Samoa is great for the game both “internationally and at a grassroots level”.
“Without doubt the team’s success will help develop heroes for young people
and bring pride to those whose playing
years have since past," he says.
“And equally important is that it has the power to unite communities, and this builds a stronger society.”
And King encourages anyone inspired by Toa Samoa’s success to enquire at their local club about getting more involved.
“Regardless of level of involvement, everyone that encounters the sport [of league], whether you’re a parent, caregiver, volunteer, or player, you’ll experience plenty of fun and develop friendships that last a lifetime.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about joining a rugby league club near you.