Friday, 22 November 2013

2013 Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final

17th November 2013
What all the fuss is about.


Fiji 22-4 Samoa

Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington

When I heard that Scotland had managed to sneak through to the last eight of the Rugby League World Cup, I briefly considered the possibility of attending all four quarter-finals, which were being held on the same weekend.

But upon reflection I chose not.  The fact that there are only really three teams of any stature in the tournament meant that the majority of the quarter-final ties would, in all probability; end up one-sided try-parades.  Good Fun, if your side is doing all the scoring, but less fun for the neutral.

The only tussle featuring two of the lesser-lights (Fiji and Samoa) clearly was the only one likely to offer the potential for any sort of remotely competitive encounter, so down to Warrington it was.

And although a final scoreline of 22-4 in favour of the Fijians may suggest a rather uneven contest, in reality it was only Fiji’s late converted try which lent a slightly lopsided look to the shoreline.  The Samoan’s held their own for much of the tie, and there was a lengthy spell during the second-half, with score at 14-4, where some sort of comeback did not look totally out of the question.  But it was not to be.

Panorama of Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington.

Fiji

Samoa

The Samoans performed their Siva Tau prior to the match,
whilst the Fijians contented themselves with a sing-song in a huddle.

Fiji get proceedings under way.

Fiji v Samoa - Rugby League World Cup 2013 

Fiji v Samoa - Rugby League World Cup 2013 

Midway through the first-half Samoa brought on the hefty Moses Masoe.
But even at 6ft 5in and over 20 stone, he was unable to breach the Fiji defence.

The Martin Dawes Stand.

A scuffle broke out late in the match - the pencil-thin, 14-year old linesman
clearly felt raising an outstretched arm would be sufficient
to calm down 26 irate South Seas Islanders

Fiji v Samoa - Rugby League World Cup 2013 

Fiji celebrate Vitale Junior ROCIQA's late try, which confirmed his side's Wembley trip.

Panorama of Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington.


The Samoans did not leave Warrington totally emptied handed though as, having been based in the town for the group stages, they had clearly made a lot of friends during visits to local schools.

For during much of the match we were treated to an shrill pre-pubescent chant of 
“Sa-mo-ah, Sa-mo-ah”.  A group of marines in fatigues sitting in the adjacent section countered with “Fiji, Fiji, Fiji” is a deep parade ground baritone, to everyones amusement.  Whilst the squaddies won the decibel contest hands down, they had not the staying power of the school kids who ground down their adversaries by refusing to shut-up, and their high-pitched voices could be heard persisting long after the servicemen had settled down to watch proceedings.

The chap sitting next to me seemed to take a bit of umbrage at the school kids choice, stating to me and those around “We should all be supporting Fiji, as they are part if the British Empire.”  I decided not to mention that fact was more an accident of geography that anything, and that Britain’s record in the various countries we had colonised over the years, was perhaps not always something to be proud of.    

The Halliwell Jones, Stadium, Warrington.

The Halliwell Jones, Stadium, Warrington.

Above & below - a statue of former Warrington player
Brian Bevan can be found outside the stadium.  


Panorama of Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington.


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