On Wednesday evening the Cook Islands will be playing USA in Group D of the Rugby League World Cup. This opens up a wonderful opportunity for the 'Cookies' to win against relative minnows in the competition.
Despite the facts that the island’s population is a mere 10,900, the Cook Islands are favourites to beat the USA - who are rapidly emerging in the Rugby League circle.
The Cook Islands have nonetheless gone into this competition under the radar as more attention has been paid to their Pacific rivals Tonga and Samoa even though it could be argued that they have a squad strong enough to challenge these two nations, having constructed a team with 10 players boasting NRL experience.
Having said this, it is also important to note that the Cook Islands are the lowest ranked team in the tournament and have only played in the competition once before.
Indeed, to many a sporting fan the islands are more known for being a jaw-droppingly awesome place to holiday, rather than for any athletic prowess.
In light of this, we look into other examples of underdogs who have won the hearts of the host nation and received their full backing, going from the stars of a Thomas Cook brochure to the darlings of a major sporting competition.
1) Tahiti reach football's Confederations Cup
Tahiti qualified for the Confederations Cup this past summer by virtue of the fact that they won the OFC Nations Cup. Despite this amazing feat, Tahiti’s fate in Confederations Cup was inevitable when Nigeria put six past them in the first round of the group stage.
However this match provided without doubt the greatest moment of the tournament when Jonathan Tehau towered above Efe Ambrose to score a wonderful header from a Tahiti corner.
The Brazilian fans in the Estadio Mineirao provided the loudest cheer of the tournament when the goal was scored - the cultural similarities between Brazil and Tahiti perhaps go a little way towards explaining the support received by the South Pacific minnows.
2) Trinidad and Tobago join the world's biggest sporting party
At the World Cup of 2006 Trinidad and Tobago became the smallest nation ever to reach the finals of the competition. In their first match they heroically drew against Sweden with Dwight Yorke being instrumental in the game.
They somehow managed to keep a clean sheet against a strong Swedish side and also played most of the second half with 10 men. Every save made by Shaka Hislop, formerly of West Ham United, was greeted with an almighty roar from the German crowd.
Despite losing their remaining two games against England and Paraguay, the carnival atmosphere provided by the fans added style and flair to the tournament.
3) Bermuda show spirit in cricket cameo
Cricket’s participating nations in most tournaments are fairly standard and so there is less room for the emergence of an exciting minnow than in other sports.
However in 2007, Bermuda qualified for the cricket World Cup having not featured in the competition since its introduction.
They were drawn in a group with the three South Asian sides; Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. It’s fair to say that progression in the tournament looked unlikely and this proved to be the case with Bermuda losing every match and securing the record for the lowest NRR in cricket history: -4.345.
However there were still moments of joy for Bermuda, who were received in a patronising tone until dismissals such as Sanath Jayasuriya from Saleem Mukuddem’s bowling inspired the crowd to strongly back Bermuda’s effort and spirit.
There are countless fairytale stories from major sporting tournaments. Do you have any like the above four where you'd just love to find a plane ticket to go and congratulate them in person? And, y'know, maybe spend a couple of days on the beach before you head back? Let us know in the comments section below...