Dau passes on

Pita Dau, right, with two of his former teammates. Picture: SUPPLIED

Pita Dau, right, with two of his former teammates. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI is mourning the loss of one of the finest sportsmen to graze our shores.

Former dual international Pita Dau passed away in Lautoka yesterday and his sudden death shocked the rugby and football fraternities.

Dau played first five-eighth for the national rugby team in the 80s and 90s and was also the captain of the national football team during the same period.

Dau’s cousin and also former dual international Mesake Navugona was one the first former players to pay tribute.

Navugona said Dau was best remembered when he landed a spear tackle on Wallabies legend Michael Lynagh during one of his games for the Flying Fijians.

The former rugby union and league flyer said the fallen hero was a true warrior and always gave his best on the field while playing rugby or soccer.

Navugona played with Dau in the Lautoka team.

“As an upcoming rugby player for Lautoka rugby team in my first game, he was mentoring me in all the preparations on and off the field,” he said.

“He was my tavale and he gave me a hard time during training sessions and made sure that I develop as a good winger.

“He led by example with hard tackles and making sure we did our part. He was sent off the field playing for Fiji for a ‘moto bitu’ (spear tackle) on Michael Lynagh who was the five-eighth for Queensland against the Fiji team tour to Australia .”

Navugona said Dau doesn’t talk much but did most of his talking in the field and had also contributed immensely to football.

“He was a very humble and down to earth person and has contributed so much to football and rugby in Lautoka and Fiji.

“I still can’t believe it that he has passed away.

“A real warrior in the field and never backs down from any challenge. Lautoka has lost a great son and only few Blues players have had the opportunity to captain the Fiji football team and he was one of them.

“I just waved to him on the road yesterday and I am really sad and shocked,” he added.

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