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Fine-tuning Samoa pride ahead of Rugby League clash with Kiwis

Alualumoana Luaitalo

A group of revved-up mechanics will be flying Samoa’s flag on the streets of Auckland this weekend.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

A group of revved-up mechanics are among those flying Samoa’s flag from their high-performance cars on the streets of Auckland this weekend.

Under-dogs Toa Samoa are going head-to-head with the Kiwis in the Pacific Championships at Eden Park on Saturday night.

Car crew Positive Performance is a 15-strong group of Samoans, most of whom are mechanics.

The crew’s decked-out vehicles outside the mechanics where some of them work. Photo / Alualumoana Luaitalo

They’ve decorated their vehicles to the maximum allowed by the law and proudly hitting the streets to show off their pride.

Crew leader Fetu Manutai grew up in Samoa, coming from the villages of Vaisala, Fasito’outa & Vaitele Uta, and moved to New Zealand about six years ago.

He says his crew saw a Facebook post and joined in a recent parade supporting Toa Samoa, not expecting to get anything out of it.

“I saw the post … and I call all the boys to come, we go together, we support too and we are lucky that you never know.”

That luck saw Positive Performance members win tickets to the match, even though they’d already put aside the money to buy their own.

Manutai says the name of his crew came from the leadership of a high school teacher when he was growing up back in Samoa.

He says he’s always remembered her advice about how to win and how to succeed: being positive and staying positive.

“And I keep in my mind and I come to New Zealand.”

He says the pride he puts into flying the Samoan flag comes from growing up there.

“You know, my blood is Samoa, my color is from Samoa.”

Manutai says if Toa Samoa win, they’ll be hitting the streets again after the game to celebrate.

The match at Eden Park kicks off at 6pm.

Hero image: Fetu Manutai (third from right) with other members of the Positive Performance Car Crew showing support for Toa Samoa. Photo / Alualumoana Luaitalo

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