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Rugby Brought Us Together: Rauluni

Former Vodafone Flying Fijians skipper Mosese Rauluni reminisced how the late Seru Rabeni always played jokes on him. Delivering his eulogy at Central Christian Centre in Nausori yesterday, Rauluni said
20 Mar 2016 09:53
Rugby Brought Us Together: Rauluni

Former Vodafone Flying Fijians skipper Mosese Rauluni reminisced how the late Seru Rabeni always played jokes on him.

Delivering his eulogy at Central Christian Centre in Nausori yesterday, Rauluni said he had a special traditional relationship with him.

“With the Gau and Vanua Levu rivalry, he became the most annoying team mate,” Rauluni said.

“He had a lot of allies in the team and was a practical joker. Seru would always play tricks on me like pouring sugar over my food, salt in my tea and coffee, trying to pull my pants down in public, trying to throw me into creeks when I’m fully dressed and jumping out of dark corners to scare me.”

Rauluni said because their last names started with the letter R, on many occasions they would be sharing rooms when they travel for tournaments overseas.

“I would scratch my head because not only did he play tricks on me but for those who know him he can snore. I put him up there with some of the biggest snorers that I have ever roofed with like Bill Gadolo, Joe Veitayaki and Bill Cavubati.

“The snoring actually affected my training. I couldn’t sleep at night so I was thinking to myself what I can do to get revenge.

“So I went to the physio’s room and stole a can of deep heat and took it to my room and I rubbed it on the crotch area of his tights. It felt so good doing that to him after all those tricks he played on me so I did it to him for a week.”

“I can still remember my tau and the last conversation we had. I was with Tala Jioji Rinakama who was training Naitasiri and caught up with him and we talked about the old times.

“But unfortunately he was about to jump on a boat back to Bua. So I said to him, “Why you going to Bua? When you can go to a beautiful paradise like Gau?” His reply was “You lekapie, ulupori, lai lai na dina.”

Representing former and current players at the church service, Rauluni recalled the presence Rabeni brought to the 2007 Flying Fijians at the Rugby World Cup in France.

“I first played alongside Seru in 2000 on the tour to Japan and knew then that he was a very special player with his footwork, hard hits and overall ability,” he said.

“We both went on the represent Fiji several years after but in 2007 in France I saw him single-handedly bash Wales out of the game and help our team win one of the most memorable games for Fiji.

“Ratu Seru was the rock in our midfield backline; you could always depend on him to cause a lot of problems to the opposition teams whether it is slick attacking skills or big hits.

“Seru was a gifted athlete; he had a massive impact on rugby in New Zealand, England, France and most of all Fiji.

“Ratu Seru was a man who always had your back on and off the field and I was blessed that I played with him and not against him.

“He never took a step backwards on the field and was known for his competitive and physical presence in all the teams he played for and against.

“He has made a big impact on everyone’s lives by the attendance here today. Hundreds of tributes have come through the social media and news which stupefies the man I used to call tavale.

“He will be missed so much for kindness, his caring nature especially to his Fijian brothers and sisters whether it be from the people in the village in Bua or the Fijian army boys in England.”

Rauluni said the news of Rabeni’s death still has not sunk in as he remembers how much he truly misses him.

 



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