SPORTS

So Long, To Our Legendary No.8

The man who captained the national rugby team that almost beat the All Blacks in 1974, is no longer with us today.
04 Apr 2022 18:30
So Long, To Our Legendary No.8
The late former national rugby No.8 Vilikesa Mocelutu (right) is greeted by a Maori in New Zealand in 1974. The traditional Maori greeting is called hongi where noses are pressed together. Photo: Supplied

The man who captained the national rugby team that almost beat the All Blacks in 1974, is no longer with us today.

Former national rugby No.8, Vi­likesa Mocelutu, passed away this week and this was confirmed to SUNsports yesterday by a close as­sociate.

He captained the national rug­by team that lost 14-13 to the All Blacks at Buckhurst Park in Suva.

In his last Test on August 31, 1974, Mocelutu scored three tries as they lost 39-25 to the New Zea­land Maori in Wellington.

Legendary All Blacks flanker Waka Nathan in his recollections with Roar, mentioned about the Fijian captain.

“Interestingly, Fijian No.8 Vilike­sa Mocelutu, scored three tries in the game and threw the ball into the lineouts. He was named as one of the five Players of the Year in the 1975 Rugby Almanack,”

He played alongside the likes of Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese, Ratu Josate­ki Sovau, Ratu Isikeli Tasere, Sen­itiki Nasave, Luke Namadila, Joe Visei, Ilisoni Taoba, Josefa Rauto, Tevita Rabuli, Rodney Samuels and the list goes on.

Mocelutu hails from Toki in Ovalau and his wife, Ana was a former national netball head coach.

He was among the first batch of locals that embarked on the School for Physical Education Sport Science and Recreation programme (SPESSAR). Moce­lutu and others like Samu Yavala, Taitusi Bunawa, Epeli Lagiloa and Jone Koroi became the coun­try’s leading experts in sports and physical education.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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