Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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'US President Gerald Ford's golf was so bad we thought he was a 'Hitman for the PGA!'
'An optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist sees the whole.'
'The other man's arse is always cleaner!'
'You've got to get your first tackle in early, even if it's late!'
'No doubt about it, in my career Ron Lyle hit me the hardest. One time he hit me so hard I didn't see it until I saw it on film when I woke up!'
'I have found in my time moving around sports grounds - that the knowledge of the game from the crowd is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats.'
'I never stole nuttin' unless it began with an 'A' - A truck, a car, a payroll...!'
'Rugby is three things; its ballet, opera and bloody murder!'
From American motivational speaker Paul J.Meyer; 'Whatever you vividly imagine; Ardently desire; Sincerely believe in and Enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.'
'I always try to remember that praise and a slap on your back is only 6 inches away from a kick up the arse!'
'God somehow makes sure that in international rugby nobody wins ALL the time!'
'To prepare for a really big match you don't have to be in a good mood, or even a bad mood...you just have to be in the right mood!'
Thus the ABs beat the Lions 18-17. Shocking really - but hey! We'll take it!
Headquarters for the game of rugby in Samoa. Apia Park is a ground with a colourful past. Just as Twickenham in London was once a market garden, and cabbages were grown at Lancaster Park in Christchurch during World War I, Apia Park in the capital city of Samoa was once a horse racing track and a golf course.
Situated close to the city, the ground was originally owned by the occupying German Government. The first horse racing was held on Kaiser Wilhelm II’s birthday in 1910. Later, Chinese, Melanesian and Samoan labourers ploughed the swampy land, aided by oxen-drawn carts. They levelled an inner field and plans for rugby were drawn up. The locals did not worry that a large, shady tree was left intact on what was to be inside the field of play.
Horse racing died out in 1939. The first rugby game on the park was in 1924 when an Apia Selection played a Pago Pago Naval XV. Apia won 33-0. During the same year a Fijian team on its way to play Tonga stopped in Apia. Its two games against the locals were split one win each. It is not recorded how the teams coped with playing around the tree!
These days the rebuilt ground, with its superb backdrop of palm trees and other native flora and fauna, must be one of the prettiest in the world.
Apia Park has always been a highly significant place for sport in Samoa. In 1991 before the advent of a home TV network, crowds used to come to the ground and sit for hours overnight waiting to watch on an imported giant TV screen the matches of (Western) Samoa at the World Cup in Britain.
For years the field was also used as a golf course, but in 1975 the inherent dangers of people walking near such a course led them to shift to a new venue, at the Royal Samoan Golf Club. Only then for the first time could rugby truly claim the grounds.
In 2007, Apia Park was one of the main venues for the 2007 Pacific Games. In 2015 it will play host many events at the Youth Commonwealth Games, the opening and closing ceremonies. It will also host the All Blacks from New Zealand for a much anticipated game against Manu Samoa. The ground has a capacity of 15,000.
After the finish of the 2011 Rugby World Cup who were the youngest and oldest players from all countries to win a World Cup medal 1987-2011?