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7s moment

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Benito Masilevu was the proudest grandfather in Vativa, Cakaudrove when his namesake and grandson ran onto the famous Hong Kong Stadium ground in So Kon Po.

Times Sport caught up with the 70-year-old while returning from a meeting at the Tui Wailevu's residence in Wailevu Village last Friday.

When asked why he was returning home early when the other elders were still in the village talking about the welfare of the district, the reply from Masilevu was: "Meu va'o'olo lesu bale'a au ba tei lai saravi noku yaca ni dra'ou ki'o nihua (I have to be back in the village before the game begins to see my namesake play)".

Masilevu described last Sunday as one of best Palm Sundays after watching young Benito help the Digicel Fiji 7s team beat Wales 26-19 in the cup final of the Hong Kong 7s.

"My yaca (namesake) deserves whatever he has achieved because he has given his all to be in the team," Masilevu said.

"Unlike other youths in the village, he had the passion for sports and he had graduated from the rugby academy at Marist Convent, Suva and spent a short stint at Saint Bedes College before moving to DAV College as a PEMAC teacher.

"He was later chosen by former Fiji rugby star Marika Vunibaka to play for his local sevens side before he was spotted to represent the national side."

Masilevu says that one of his proudest moments was seeing his namesake play at the mecca of sevens rugby.

"The village goes crazy when my namesake is playing since he is someone that the people here can identify with.

"We have a shed erected at their family home which is named Lomaiviti in recognition of Marika Vunibaka's contribution to one of our very own sons.

"When my namesake played during the Wellington Sevens, a part of their family home verandah was broken because people from the village cheered wildly beating on the wooden verandah.

"We want to send our warmest regards to the team as they prepare for Japan and send our well wishes to yaca and the side hoping that they will give us a reason to cheer wildly and maybe extend the crack on the verandah of their house next week," he said with a smile.

The Japan 7s kicks-off on Saturday. Fiji faces South Africa at 1.44pm in its first pool match.

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