On Feb. 26, the professional Samoa national rugby union team (also known as Manu Samoa) visited Carson High School’s girls rugby team.
Manu Samoa began its rugby journey in 1924 and is currently ranked 15 in the World Rugby ranking. The girls, being grateful for the opportunity, welcomed the team with open arms.
“It was pretty exciting because I’ve always watched them play on TV and being able to finally meet them in person was a dream come true because they’re my idols and I look up to them,” Academy of Empowerment and Education junior, Aaliyah Taufaao said.
Being a cultured team, Manu Samoa was able to perform their traditional Siva Tau that they do before every game. As they went on, they pulled some of the girls up to dance as well. Taufaao being one of the girls pulled up to dance.
“I really was nervous, my heart was racing since I don’t know how to Siva. I didn’t want to embarrass myself,” she said. “But overall it was fun, and they kept making me laugh.”
Another member of the team had a similar experience when asked to dance.
“It felt amazing to be able to meet rugby players who have made it to the next level,” Carson High School junior, Savonna McGlothan said. “I was hoping they didn’t notice that I really didn’t know how to dance.”
From talking about rugby to making dance videos, there were many ways the girls got to know the team better. Although the girls enjoyed hearing about the professional’s rugby lives, they got the chance to see another side of the players while making Tik Tok videos.
“My favorite part of the whole experience was getting the autographs of the players and making Tik Toks with them,” McGlothan said.
The experience of meeting professionals proved to be beneficial, however, it was even better once they realized the players were just like themselves.
“Being able to meet the professionals was a great experience for me especially since I want to play college ball,” Academy of Medical Arts junior, Danielle Taulua said. “The best part was being able to joke around with the team because usually, things like this are serious. They were all funny and nice and I am glad I got to experience this.”
Being able to encounter the team and get tips was a huge opportunity for the girls and they all look forward to being able to see them again. But for now, Carson High School’s rugby team will use the advice they’ve gotten from the professionals and try to apply it to their daily rugby lives.