Brian Lima paid tribute to fellow Samoan legend Peter Fatialofa by leading the traditional Siva Tau challenge against Ireland on Saturday. It was an emotional tribute at the start to the game, following the sudden loss of Fatialofa earlier in the week.
Former team-mate Lima, now defence coach for Samoa, led the troops, barefoot and shirt off in front of a packed Aviva Stadium. Lima and Fatialofa played together in the team that famously upset Wales in Cardiff at the 1991 Rugby World Cup.
“They played together in World Cups. It was just fitting to let Brian lead the Siva Tau,” said captain Kahn Fotuali’i, who perhaps should have had a word with the ill-informed commentators prematch.
Unfortunately Samoa weren’t able to take it to the Irish, who won the game comfortably 40-9.
“When we found out about Peter’s passing, that brought a bit of fire but we left it on the training paddock,” Fotuali’i said. “That was not the way we want to portray our team. Urgency was a key word. And it just wasn’t there.
“It is frustrating after such a special moment of Brian leading our Siva Tau and the passing of Peter.” As a result Samoa, who could have jumped to fifth on the world rankings, dropped to eighth.
Following some of the discussions below, we’ve added the RTE commentary version here
Above is the RTE version of events, with the commentators fully aware of what was going on, and the significance of Brian ‘Chiropractor’ Lima’s presence for the Siva Tau.