Tuesday 16 January 2018

Samoan rugby team lifts Olympic heroes' spirits with special Haka

Joe Whelan (10) with Logovi'i Mulipola
Joe Whelan (10) with Logovi'i Mulipola
Tom McDonagh (both 14) with Sakaria Taulafo
The Samoan 'Haka'

Fiona Ellis

THE 'Haka' is usually used by the Samoan Rugby team to strike fear into the hearts of their competitors – but yesterday it was met with giggles and smiles.

The Samoan Rugby team, ahead of the Guinness Autumn International against Ireland this Saturday, took time out of their training schedule to perform their traditional and fearsome war dance for the Special Olympics athletes from Seapoint Dragons Rugby Club in south Dublin.

The event was for Special Olympics Ireland as part of Electric Ireland's Powering Kindness campaign. Special Olympics Ireland is one of three charities vying to win €50,000 by encouraging members of the public to log good deeds and pledge them to Special Olympics Ireland on poweringkindness.ie.

Ben Purcell (19), from Dublin, said being able to see the Haka up close and personal was brilliant.

"I wasn't terrified at all," he said. "They did a great job at the Haka."

Samoa team manager Namulauulu Sami Leota said: "Rugby is one big family so we are making friends as well. This was an opportunity for us to give back to the community and put a smile on their faces."

Irish Independent

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