SPORTS

Flying Fijian Rugby Great Manasa Qoro Dies

Qoro made his debut for the national rugby 7s team at the 1987 Hong Kong 7s where he stopped the flying David Campese in their 14-8 win over Australia in the Cup semi-final.
07 Feb 2019 11:01
Flying Fijian Rugby Great Manasa Qoro Dies
Manasa Qoro after scoring a try at the Rugby World Cup 1987

The flanker who shocked the rugby world when he kicked over a drop goal during the 1987 Rugby World Cup is now longer with us today.

Flying Fijian great Manasa Qoro passed away at his residence at Nawaka Village, Nadi on Tuesday.

According to former national 7s rep Penisoni Waki, Qoro was probably the first forward in the world to kick over a drop goal.

“Manasa was a tough player,” an emotional Waki told SUNsports yesterday.

Qoro made his debut for the national rugby 7s team at the 1987 Hong Kong 7s where he stopped the flying David Campese in their 14-8 win over Australia in the Cup semi-final.

“What was unique about Manasa is that apart from his huge frame he also had the speed and could either play in the backline or forwards,” Waki said.

He said they played together for Nadi in the early 1990s and were coached by llami Lutu­mailagi.

“During those days before our home games we would present ourselves to the werelevu Nalagi and the other chiefly homes before we go to the market to have some grog and then we’ll have our egg sandwich before playing,” Waki recalled.

“Those were a few things that we would do together and our closeness would motivate us to play better and we still talk about it with the younger players.”

Qoro started his rugby career with the Nawa­ka Rugby Club before being named in the Nadi team in 1984.

Three years later he made his debut in the Fi­jian sevens team before being selected for the national rugby team to play at the 1987 RWC in New Zealand.

Qoro made his international debut for Fiji against Queensland in April 1987 before being selected for the RWC in May.

He played alongside Peceli Gale, Savenaca Aria, Belasio Vukiwai, Meli Rabonu, Sainiva­lati Laulau, Taniela Nayate and the list goes on.

He was 54 during the time of his death and is survived by his wife Bulou and five children and two grandchildren

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj



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