(narrator) Meet Auckland’s
deaf rugby team: The Northern Marlins.
They’re training for the annual
Deaf Rugby Shield.
They’ve only ever won the shield twice
in its 20 year history.
But this year they reckon
they’ve got some real talent.
There’s Opeti the old masterDavid, he scores the triesProp Sailusi, he’ll pretty much
drive through anything
And Talia?Would you want to be tackled
by him?
Talia Vaka – Lock
Meli Kaveinga – Talia’s Partner I’ve always played on the wing He said he’s played before,
with hearing people And he was better on the wing I didn’t know enough about techniques
to be a forward He’s not very good in the middle,
he’s saying I want to be part of the action! He said he’s fast,
so he suits playing on the wing I have no fear about tackling I’m a big guy
and that’s why we train Because he likes bowling people over What position? Well, let’s see!
I’ve played 1st 5, number 8 Opeti Finaulangi – Number 8
Nicola Saumenoff – Opeti’s Wife So, I think what you should say
is that you started in the back line.. …1st five, full back But slowly, over the years,
you’ve been moving forward! And he’s now number 8 I’m a proud number 8! So, I started rugby
almost six years ago Jaime Brown – David’s Wife
David Brown – Centre Because I was interested
in mixing with my friends. You know, it was a fun game
that I wanted to be involved in. And fitness as well. You know, building up my skills. I started on the wing
and then I changed to the center but I’m flexible in my position.(narrator) Talia grew up in Tonga.He wasn’t taught sign language.He learnt to lip-read
and charms everyone with his grin.
Meli is from Tuvalu.They couldn’t communicate
when they met,
but hey, that didn’t stop the love!Thought I’d try,
but my English isn’t good, so, I wrote enough to show “Tonga”,
which Meli understood He wrote his name on my hand Because I asked him:
“What’s your name?” He didn’t know how to say it,
so he spelled it. Then I asked a friend:
“Who is that girl?” I was out having a few drinks
with some of the boys– He was out with friends and I was out with a group
of my friends. Nicola was there with her group
and I could see her watching me And he’s saying:
“She was watching me” I was a little bit drunk
across the room So, Nicola came over
and she tapped me on the shoulder It was a nice surprise for me! And I walked over
and introduced myself to him I went home and then the next morning,
my friend texted me And said: “Do you remember
that deaf man last night?” “At the circus?” I said: “Yes, why?” And my friend said: “I think
the man likes you!” I said: “Haha, funny.” And that’s how we met! I said to a friend of mine:
“That’s him – he’s the one!” And my friend said to me:
“Who is he?” I said: “I don’t know.
I’ve never seen him before.” And so we stood there,
watching him for a while And she said: “What’s he doing?” So I said: “Oh, I think he’s signing” So, she turned to me And, Julie, she said:
“You’ve got a problem, girlfriend..” “…because you can’t sign!” It was hard at the beginning because we both had to learn
to sign together. It was new for me. Yeah! You know when I met you I was like “Oh my God!”
He’s hard work!(narrator) Sailusi is 32,
but he lives at home with his mom.
Sailusi wants to go flatting,
but he needs a job first
and he has to convince his mom.She wants her boy to stay home.Because he always talks
to me sometimes, “When you die, I’m going to find
somewhere to stay.” Fuaesi Toalima – Sailusi’s Mum
Sailusi Toalima – Prop I told him: “This is your house”
“This is your home.” “Your sisters and brothers
will look after you.” And, I don’t know, he always tells me
he wants to go, find somewhere to stay.(narrator) Talia’s a bodybuilder,
so he needs to watch what he eats.
But he’s not in training at the moment
so, he’s tucking in.
Yes, you like to eat all the time. Yes, I like to be satisfied, I don’t like feeling hungry. He wants to be full all the time. He doesn’t like being hungry. I make sure I’m always full. But I cook all the time!
I get tired of cooking. Yeah, I ask Meli nicely
to cook for me. And when I’m feeling hungry
I ask her to cook again and again. Like, when you finish work,
you come home, you are like: “Where’s the food?” So you need to put two cups. One cup of this into there. So, take it out and then roll it. It’s messy work!(narrator) Nicola’s trying
to teach Opetito bake.
But when they first met
it was Opeti who had to do the teaching.
Initially, when we first met,
we were writing quite a lot and Opeti was teaching me
about 20 words a day when we first met– I’d write down the words
I wanted to learn and he’d teach me them and I just practised them. And it probably took me
about 3 months… …to learn enough sign
to communicate properly Got a book,
you know, the sign language book. We had to learn:
“How do you say…” And then “what’s the word?”,
“write this,” then we had another word,
then practice, you and me, practice. What I understand happens
with lots of deaf people in families, you sort of start
to have a “home sign,” so, you just kind of have
our own kind of style. I point and use facial expressions
so Meli knows what I’m talking about. That’s the easiest way!(narrator) Sailusi’s had a hard time
finding a job,
so he’s seeking help.Luckily the coach
of the Northern Marlins…
Hi Sailusi,
it’s Scott……is a disability employment consultant
with Elevator
Come on in for a work assessment
and interview I know it’s very hard for him
to find a job but he really needs to work. It’s good for him. Because he’s going
to earn his own money– to support him. When he grows up.(narrator) David’s married to Jamie.Their son Jaden is just starting
to talk,
but David’s deaf…..so he’s teaching Jaden sign language
to be sure they can communicate.
Sign language is always easier
for children to pick up so his first language
was sign language. He started at about 8 months,
signing. Just different objects
around the room and then eventually his English
started to follow that. And as he gets older his English is catching up
with his signing, but previous to that
it was just a lot of signs. Which was great
because it meant that we were able
to communicate with him a lot earlier than a lot of parents can. Just because we don’t want to be
in the situation when he’s older where I’m having to interpret
between those two and I’m kind of interfering
in their relationship. They need to have their own relationship. So, language is an integral part of that (roaring sound)(narrator) Sailusi has come in
for an interview at Elevator,
The disability employment agency.So, Sailusi I’ve asked you
to come in today. I just wanted to find out
what your interested in because I understand
that you’d like a job. Yes. So, if I asked you to think
about what job interests you most, what would you tell me? Insect collection. You know, catching them in the wild,
containing and cataloging them and sending them in for analysis,
then letting them go safely.(narrator) Sailusi’s determination
to follow his passion for entomology
may be one reason
he’s found it hard to find a job.
Let’s catch some butterflies
along this path!(narrator) Talia is also doing
what he loves best.
Do you see any?
I don’t see them.(narrator) Finding butterflies
is almost as hard as finding a job.
Thanks, Meli.
I’ll help with the dishes. Meat chops, he likes them. Talia can eat all this
in one go. If you guys weren’t here,
all that would be gone. That’s one packet. So what I’ll do now
is collate all the information related to your job search. And if an opportunity comes up,
I’ll text you. – Is that ok?
– Yep!(Scott) I’ve been involved for 12 years
with the Marlins team
in various roles, from chairman
through to coaching, manager–
Different roles.This year I’m a coach.I was a butcher for 25 years.My nephew was born deaf,Scott Williams
Marlins’ Coach so my wife and I went to night classes
to learn how to sign.>From there, I met people
in the deaf community, and one particular guy, the tutor at the time,
talked to me about the sign language interpreters’
class at AUT. So I applied for that
and I became an interpreter.(narrator) Two months out
from the nationals,
the guys are training twice a week.Scott spends his evening
driving the guys to and from training.
Some of them live
an hour out of town.
The actual tournament is an opportunity
for deaf rugby players from throughout New Zealand
to come together and compete with their peers,
basically.Sailusi’s been involved in deaf rugby
since day one.
He’s been selected
to the New Zealand team in the past.
And he’s really the rock
for our team.
He’s a prop.Talia, first time he actually played
for the Marlins
he gave a bit of a fright
to the Central and Southern boys
when they saw him stripped down
running onto the field!
Opeti is another one
of the real rocks in the team,
been around for a long
long time,
retired last year,
but he’s come back this year
which is really good,
because he’s a valuable footballer.
I’ve got some great skills
and experienced with the deaf boys. Oh, you do have great skills,
yes, great skills. But you’re just a little bit older now. You a bit more like an old crab. This is Pak ‘n’ Save
our other home! We come here
just about every day: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We always come here! We should actually just live here! Hey, we should sleep here! Yes. And this is why we have no money! Because we’re always at Pak ‘n’ Save. This year’s strategy was:
“I’m just going along to help the coach.” I said I’ll just play touch! The first year you told me you were just
going to help the coach. And then I noticed about 3 weeks later
a new pair of boots and that he was actually playing. This is what Talia could eat
in one day… …if he was really, really hungry. Or if he was just being a pig, really. That’s a lot. It’s about twelve for a packet,
so maybe 50 NZD? This is just 50 bucks’ worth of food. That’s not even including anything else,
that’s just meat.(narrator) Talia hopes to medal
at the National Bodybuilding Champs.
But he’s been stuffing his face
with lamb chops…
…and he’s packed on the pounds.His trainer, Surjit,
is not impressed.
This is where he’s going
to carry most of it, as we know.(narrator) Talia’s got two months
to get ripped.
That’s his chops,
that’s what’s happened. It’s her fault! Surjit Anderson
Talia’s Trainer and Nutritionist No, it’s Meli.
She’s in charge. And his competition’s in April so we better start
really going hard now. Have you been eating
and sticking to the plan that I’ve given him?(narrator) Sailusi’s dream job
of catching insects
will have to wait.Scott’s arranged a trial for him
at a lighting factory.
Hi Sailusi
it’s Scott… There’s a job trial at Hunza Lighting
where Opeti works. See you there.It’s all in the family,
as one of the foremen is Opeti,
who plays with Sailusi
on the Northern Marlins rugby team.
But he still has to prove himself
on the job.
So, you lay them like that– So, actually overlapping? Yeah, that’s right! Place them in here
and then join them. Now remember to put the sleeve on. You put a plastic sleeve
over the wires. Oh! Good! Right, we’ll see you tomorrow
at training, eh? Yep. Cheers bro,
see you there! Bye!(narrator) It’s not bug catching,
but it’s a job.
Scott’s called them to a training cam.to make sure they’re all clear
on the rules.
(Scott) Deaf rugby is the same as rugby,
the same rules apply.
It’s the same globally.The difference with the guys that are deaf
that are playing the game… …they just need to be aware– First, they need
to understand the referee. The signs they use
when there’s a breakdown or an infringement in the game. So, here’s the advantage line. It’s very important
that you stay behind it at all times. So, the point of this exercise is that we blow over the player
on the ground. So that we continue to advance
over the advantage line.Being deaf, they can’t hear the whistle,
or hear a referee who’s speaking.Normally if there’s an infringement,
we encourage them to carry on until someone stops them. Ok, everyone will have a turn
at this exercise.If there’s a breakdown in play at all,
what they generally do
is as the players become aware
that the referee needs them to stop.
they’ll just tap each other
and even the opposition,
just give them a tap to let them know
that play has stopped.
(narrator) David’s wife is going out
for the day.
Mum’s off to work.Dad’s in charge of keeping little Jaden
entertained and out of trouble.
I’ll come back and see you later! – Bye!
– Bye, mommy! Come on!
Go down the slide!(narrator) 2 year old Jaden
has full hearing.
Sit on the top!He’s only just starting to talk
but he’s already bilingual.
Down the slide!David’s been teaching Jaden
sign language from day one.
One, two, three… go! Go! Go! One particular day
I came across Talia, he approached me for a job
as a laborer Guy Matches
Talia’s boss and we employed him. And from there it’s just gone
from strength to strength. Came from Tonga,
not speaking a word of English, couldn’t do any sign language. What sign language he knew didn’t correlate
with New Zealand Sign Language. So he had to start again and learn English
and New Zealand Sign Language. And again, he also had to learn
stopping and painting, and the ability
to become a carpenter.I just read his lips
and he reads mine
and we use a little bit
of sign language,
and there’s a lot of pointing.It does work.Yeah, I can finish all of that,
that’s fine How much more paint do you need
to paint the pool? One more tin? – I’ve used three so far, so…
– Two? – Three more Three more?
Ok, three more, yep(narrator) Opeti and Nicola
are off camping.
Yep, yep. Yes, yes. All good.(narrator) Talia’s a month into training.He needs to be 100kgs of lean muscle.
Has he done enough?
Personal trainer Surjit
is the judge of that.
How’s his abs?
Doing ok? That’s actually way better,
it’s way better. That’s amazing. Changing to the new diet,
I wasn’t sure about it at first. The menu’s quite boring. Good! I love it!
I’d never been camping before! We went to… where’s that place
beginning with ‘W’?We always seem to be buying
new camping gear.
I always want to make sure
it’s put together right. Opeti just gives it a crack! Which I don’t think is anything to do
with being deaf, I think that’s just to do
with being male! I think…
start at the front? – At the front? Ok.
– With the… with three blue
and the cross posts? – All right!
– But you need to peg the side first.I was asking about all these words
and there were no signs for them.
Or the signs were the same
as something else
I realized that in the English language
we have all these words
that we use that don’t
actually mean anything.
And we use superlatives all the timeor we use five different words
to say the same thing.
I was asking for words
And Opeti was saying:
“I’ve shown you that word, it’s this.”And I’m like: “Oh, that’s just
the same word.”
That should hold it enough, yep!(narrator) For months,
Talia’s been working on his physique
while Meli’s been cooking up a storm
feeding him every couple of hours
so his body’s perfectly honed
for this day.
Thank you, Meli. You’ve been a great help
with buying all the food and it’s helped my bodybuilding. 5 o’clock in the morning,
when you get up, you make the breakfast,
cook the chicken, the beef– Whatever, pack my lunch
ready for me to go work. And you do all of this, all the time,
so thank you! Thank you very much! Ok! (cheering and applause)(narrator) Meli’s in charge of making sure
every muscle looks perfect.
I need more on. Can you get some more
and I’ll pay you back? We need to buy one more of those. Oh! Well, Nicola likes to read the manual
and give me step-by-step instructions. but I ignore her,
I know what I’m doing. Well, that’s not how it goes! But he actually doesn’t hear me
so I’ve given up now! – Got it? Got it?
– Yes. Now you’ve made my–
(laughs)(narrator) He can’t hear anything
so Talia can stay completely focused
as he prepares
to take his turn on stage.
Let me see!It didn’t take me too long to realize
that when you’re a hearing person
and you get frustrated,
that you use tone, you use sound,
so, if you can imagine
as a hearing person
what you would look like
when you’re angry, frustrated and screaming, but without sound,
you actually just look stupid! So, so it’s actually not very effective Raising your tone is not
an effective way to communicate! (inaudible announcement)(narrator) The judges call out
which pose to strike.
Talia has to take his cue
from the other men,
but keep his cool.(Announcer) Contestant no. 75
Talia Vaka
(narrator) He didn’t claim the prize today
but he’ll be back.
(applause)Finally the first day
of the National Deaf Rugby tournament.
The Marlins’ opposition
are the Central Stags
from the lower North Island.And last year’s champs,
the Southern Rams.
Well, this is my last year,
then I’m retiring. – What?!
– Yeah, he’s become an old man. He can’t keep going! The bases, tackle, support!
Tackle, support! Run, break through, back up! Boom, boom, wingers cover. (whistle blows)(narrator) Deaf rugby players
listen with their eyes.
It’s Rugby Union rules.The ref still uses a whistle
and the normal hand signals,
but sometimes is takes a bit
to realize play has stopped.
The referee actually blew the whistle,
put his hand up, and I think they thought
it was a try!(narrator) Things are looking good
It’s 5-3 to the Marlins.
(whistle blows)It was all going the Marlins’ way
in the second half
but then the Southern Rams
scored a try and the tide turned.
Things didn’t go well after that.The Marlins lost. They just lost. They were leading and then about 2 minutes before the end
they lost(narrator) Day 2 of the tournament,and yesterday’s results
are still fresh on their mind.
This time there’s been
a few changes.
Talia’s on the fieldand Opeti’s back
in the position he knows best
Second five, 8.Sailusi crashes over the line
scoring early points.
Half time, and they’re well aheadThey’re looking like
they’ve got a bit more energy, so maybe they had a little sugar
with breakfast, or something!(narrator) Second half, game on!The Marlins are ready to pounce
on any opportunity
(shouting and cheering)In the end
it was a convincing victory
with the Marlins beating Central
The Marlins now need Central
to beat Southern,
but the Southern Rams
make quick work of the Stags
and the shield’s going South again.I’m really happy. Yesterday’s game against Central,
we thrashed them! That was really cool,
awesome!(Nicola) He officially retired
about 2 or 3 years ago
I think maybe
you’re a little too old now. Yeah, I got some good feedback
from the other guys about my performance. So, I learnt some new skills and I’m looking forward
to being part of the action next year. – I love rugby!
– I know, you love it! You love rugby. (cheering)

Deaf Rugby
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13 thoughts on “Deaf Rugby

  • January 31, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Tuvalu как жестовый язык ? прошу блогер видео , жду мне хочу знать

  • May 2, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Samoan Men😍

  • November 6, 2017 at 12:13 am

    amazing story about this rugby team with deaf people they should have more Deaf rugby teams very interesting story and very powerful story

  • December 11, 2017 at 2:10 am

    "Most Attractive Men in NZ that happen to be deaf"

  • December 11, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Sailusi's mom….*facepalm*

  • December 11, 2017 at 2:33 am

    Deaf rugby tournament, ref still uses a whistle….

  • December 28, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Talia is so funny he is always hungry

  • August 26, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    I love these narratives Attitude. Thanks for the awareness and enlightenment. Kia ora 💜

  • October 22, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Very much

  • November 8, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    🙌✊👋👍💪☝👏💛💙💜💚❤💖proud of all of you! Showing others that being deaf is not a problem!👍💪🙌 thank Yu"👍 God bless you All😄💗

  • November 9, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Funny enough when I first meet a friend of mine (he is deaf) he thought I knew sign language cause I am a person that speaks a lot with my arms and my face. Now I know a bit sign language enough for small talk and we are working in getting me speaking fluid in other topics!

  • January 2, 2019 at 1:52 am

    There are 3 main rugby teams in n.z. Northern Marlins, Central zone, and Southern zone. They compete against each other over the Easter holidays every year. 3day Easter weekend. It's either in Auckland, Wellington or ChristChurch.. then there's the overall deaf rugby team of NZ called the Deaf Blacks. Where they pick good players from all 3 teams to compete overseas.. join the page on Facebook peeps, support the NZ deaf rugby teams!! New Zealand deaf rugby union!

  • May 23, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    I loved watching it!


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