A Manu Samoa story - True or False?

5 June 2014

The Manu Samoa rugby team burst into the world scene in 1991 with a stunning entry into the second Rugby World Cup.

The team from the South Pacific marked its first ever Cup game by emphatically beating the host country Wales on the new Millennium Stadium in Cardiff; the ground which backs onto the historic original Cardiff Arms Park. Writers at the time called the result the 'greatest upset in rugby test history.' Many still do.

In the years after that most epic of sporting days the Samoa captain Peter Fatialofa allowed some exaggeration to enter into his re-telling of the story of how his team had won.

When Peter died tragically in 2013, his death plunged his home country and his adopted country of New Zealand into deep mourning. But Peter's high humour could not be doused.

His lifelong friend, the All Black Bryan ('B.G.') Williams told one story about Peter at one of several memorial services held in 'Fats' honour in Auckland.

Said Bryan to the mourners; 'When Manu Samoa beat Wales that day in 1991 Fats told me the Queen of England rang him up and said 'Hey Fats, I want you to ride with me in a horse-drawn open carriage to Buckingham Palace.

' So I accepted, ' said Fats, 'and climbed up with her. Down The Mall we went, trotting along happily in front of the huge crowds. But as we went along, just then one of the horses let out a huge fart. The Queen looked hugely embarrassed and turned to me and said, "Oh I am so dreadfully sorry.'

To which Peter said, "Oh that's all right, Your Majesty, if you hadn't mentioned it I'd have sworn it was one of the horses!'

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