Toa Samoa enforcer Sauaso Sue still gets goosebumps when he remembers the build-up to last year’s grudge match against Tonga at Pirtek Stadium.
The much-hyped headline act of the 2016 Pacific Tests was about to kick-off, but not before the island nations threw down the challenge via their traditional war dances.
From the moment Toa Samoa huddled together for the Siva Tau, the energy at the ground changed entirely, with a blue wave of supporters drowning out the stadium in anticipation.
For the first time in his career, Sue was given the honour of leading the powerful war dance, and it’s a moment he’ll cherish for the rest of his life.
“Many greats have led it before me so it was a great honour to be chosen to do it last year. I never expected that I would lead my country,” the Wests Tigers lock told NRL.com ahead of Samoa’s clash with England on Saturday.
“Our culture manager chose me to do it and I was obviously honoured to accept because back home, kids as young as three learn how to do it and everyone in the village gets involved so it holds special meaning for our people.
“It was a dream come true. It’s hard to explain how big it was and I had goosebumps all over my whole body. Just thinking about it now gives me goosebumps and I can’t wait to see who leads it on the weekend.”
While the Siva Tau is designed to get the Samoan warriors ready for battle, Sue explained the impact it has on the opposition.
“We’re telling the opposition how strong we are and how mighty we are and we’re trying to intimidate them as much as we can,” he said.
“It pumps us up for the game as well because we remember who we’re representing and it makes us proud to be able to do that for our people.”
Last year’s Siva Tau was followed by a stirring rendition of Tonga’s Sipi Tau that finished up with both sets of players coming face-to-face in a moment that will long be remembered by Sue and his teammates.
“You’ve got to appreciate their war dance as well and it psyches you up for the battle ahead,” he said.
“There’s so much emotion going through your body and mind when that happens.”