The Rugby League World Cup Final made history before a ball was kicked when Samoa took to the field in their first ever World Cup Final in any sport as they also became the first pacific nation to play in a Rugby League World Cup Final.
It’s a massive step in the right direction for international rugby league as it cements the nation that it is no longer just three teams capable of competing at the top but four or five with Samoa and Tonga knocking on the door pushing the likes of Australia.
Though Samoa came up short in the final, they have inspired a generation of Samoans and maybe even Tongans as well as others who now believe that monopoly at the top of rugby league can be challenged.
It sparked huge celebrations in the likes of Auckland as proud Samoans celebrated the achievement attending fan parks and even parades.
However, as is often the case with celebrations like this, they can get a little out of hand requiring a police presence.
This was the case in Auckland over the weekend and has led to a reported police controversy according to Stuff NZ.
They claim that a policeman threw a punch at a Samoan fan who was being arrested and providing difficult to get under control.
The police have responded admitting that the officer was “below expected standards.”
In a further statement, they said: “Images and videos often do not provide the full context of the situation Police staff are facing.
“However, in this case, we acknowledge some of the behaviour shown falls below the standards we would expect from our officers.”
“We will be following this up with the staff involved and working to understand the full circumstances of what has occurred.”