Tooa and Ben Lea’ana, the husband and wife caretakers of Balclutha’s Inspired Faith Church, prepared to fly the flags of Samoa and New Zealand in expectation of a particularly joyful service last Sunday.
Samoa advanced to the Rugby League World Cup final after defeating England by a single, 84th-minute, drop-goal point to close a ‘‘chaotic’’ thriller played in London in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Cars flying Samoan flags were out and about in Balclutha on the Saturday preceding the match.
The win was a staggering turnaround for the island nation, which was defeated 60-6 by England at the start of the cup.
‘‘It’s an amazing result for Samoans. We’re all really happy about it and excited for the final,’’ Mr Lea’ana said.
Samoa and Australia play in the final in Manchester this Sunday. REPORT & PHOTO: NICK BROOK