This afternoon I was walking to the bank and in the distance I could hear loud chanting. My initial reaction was "Humph, the Rugby mob has arrived!" But as the "mob" moved closer I saw that it was group of about 20 guys, and they weren't grunting or singing some meaningless chant, so beloved of crowds at international matches.
This group were swaying with an off-the-beat rhythm, and as they drew closer I recognised harmonies - perfect pitch harmonies to be precise. This was no drunken prelude to the Rugby World Cup, this was a four part harmony, swaying smiling group of supporters from Samoa. In a strong southerly wind they shuffled and danced in their lap laps and jandals, nodding and smiling to everyone in suits running back from their lunch-hour.
I reflected later. I have never been to a football match in my life, but I have had the misfortune of being in the way of drunk and loud supporters exiting a stadium and staggering home, smashing windows as they went. I have only ever been to one Rugby match, in S. Africa. It was marked by hilarious good humour and singing on the terraces, and grunting good humour on the pitch, in spite of the mud and the rain.
I hope this snapshot today will be indicative of the mood and fun of the tournament. I'm not interested in watching the matches, but I wouldn't mind bumping into more supporters from Samoa on the streets.
God bless you islanders.