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Crusade For Fiji

Crusade For Fiji
Nemani Nadolo holds a bucket collection for the Fiji cyclone relief fund after the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Chiefs at AMI Stadium last Saturday. Photo: Zimbio
February 29
14:41 2016

The BNZ Crusaders did not get the start they were hoping for in the first round of the 2016 Super Rugby season last Saturday.

But Nemani Nadolo, Ben Volavola, Jone Macilai and Alex Hodgman were grateful with support they received from rugby fans at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

Losing 21-27 to the Chiefs, the Crusaders used the match to raise funds to assist relief efforts following the destruction by Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji last week.

Nadolo, Macilai and Volavola were given special jerseys for the appeal which went up on Trademe.com after the game with a fourth being a team jersey signed by the entire Crusaders squad.

Trademe.com is the largest Internet-auction website operating in New Zealand.

Posting on his Facebook page after the game, Nadolo said the fact that people and even kids were giving money around the stadium was what won his heart.

“Didn’t get the result we wanted but I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who donated what they could tonight (Saturday night),” Nadolo said.

“It seriously touched my heart when I saw young kids giving me money and saying “Hope your family and people are ok?”

“You may think it isn’t much but to me it’s a massive thing. Vinaka vakalevu , people of Christchurch are really something else.”

All money raised from donation buckets and auctioning of the jerseys will be directed towards relief efforts in Fiji.

 

Kuridrani dedicates win to family in Fiji

Canberra: Powerhouse outside centre Tevita Kuridrani had one word of inspiration on his wrist to start the Super Rugby season and the ACT Brumbies star hopes his round-one try gave Fiji something to smile about.

The Brumbies opened their season in emphatic fashion, thumping the Wellington Hurricanes 52-10 at Canberra Stadium last Friday.

They scored seven tries in a complete domination, but Kuridrani and Henry Speight were focused on the $20.382 raised to help Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Winston after spending a week worrying for their families’ safety.

Kuridrani revealed he had only spoken to his mother once since the storm knocked out power in his home village, while Speight’s sister’s home was flooded and his former school was damaged.

So when Kuridrani spotted an opportunity to barge over the line from the base of a ruck, he saw a chance to give his family and friends a distraction.

“The game [against the Hurricanes] was for them, it was for all the people back home,” Kuridrani said.

“Everyone from Fiji loves rugby. We know that’s the only way we can make them smile while they’re going through a tough time.

“Henry and I both wrote on our wrist to dedicate that game to the people back home. It was a tough week and we were worried for our families.”

Kuridrani and Speight both wrote “FIJI” and drew a love heart on their wrist so they had a constant reminder of the devastation of their island nation home.

Donations collected at the game raised AU$13,500 (F$20,498.41), while Brumbies teammates, supporters and the ACT Academy of Sport have donated clothing and supplies.

Kuridrani and Speight will also auction off their jerseys from the perfect start to the season to send extra funds back home.

Bids were already up to almost $1000 for each jersey last Saturday, with the auction to close on Friday.

Co-captain Stephen Moore has also joined the appeal, and is set to donate the jersey from his 150th Super Rugby match to raise money for families affected by the cyclone.

“I kissed [my wrist] and looked to the sky after I scored … I just want to thank all the people that have donated, it will go a long way for the people back home,” Kuridrani said.

“I was happy to score. I saw the ball was free and I was going to pass it, but I backed myself one and one and got the try. That was for everyone at home.”

Flanker David Pocock added: “Tev and Speighty have had a pretty tough week with family and friends affected in Fiji, so hopefully that put a bit of a smile on people’s faces.

“I think at training [last Sunday] neither of them had slept … if we can support in some small way, it all helps.”

Speight has limited time to impress in a Brumbies’ jersey this year as he juggles his Australian sevens ambitions and a bid to make it to the Rio Olympic Games.

Moore was outstanding in his milestone moment, becoming just the sixth player in the competition to play 150 games and is now helping raise money for Lifeline this week.

The charity has organised for a corporate box, a signed Brumbies jersey and for Moore, who is a Lifeline board member, to attend a boardroom lunch to be auctioned on allbids.com.au for the clash against the Waratahs.

The Brumbies return to training today to start preparations for their clash with rivals the NSW Waratahs in a huge round-two contest.

Super Rugby-Week TwoFriday: ACT Brumbies v NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm.

* The Lifeline corporate box will be auctioned off this week, offering AU$500 (F$759.20) of catering, a signed jersey and Stephen Moore to attend a board room lunch with the winning bidder. Details will be on allbids.com.au this week. The auction for Henry Speight and Tevita Kuridrani’s jerseys will finish on Friday. All details are at www.allbids.com.au

 

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

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