Win for dad

HARDWORKING prop Campese Ma’afu was emotional after helping his Vodafone Flying Fijians teammates defeat his countrymen 14-10 in a gruelling Pacific Nations Cup game at Teufaiva Park in Tonga yesterday.

Receiving the congratulations of his loved ones after the game, the soft-spoken warrior who has maternal links to Kadavu said he only wished his dad could have witnessed his achievements.

Ma’afu, who buried his dad last week, said the win was for his old man.

“I believe he was looking down on me during the game from up above,” he said.

“He will be angry that Tonga lost but will be happy to see my team win.”

He said playing against his relatives and in front of the people of Tonga was tough.

Ma’afu, whose brother Salesi played for the Wallabies while another — Apakuki — also represented Tonga, said four of his cousins were playing for Tonga yesterday.

“Its always a pleasure playing against my families and my home town. But I think this is what it is; I have donned the white jersey and that is where my allegiance lies.”

He said the hunger to secure a spot in the Rugby World Cup inspired players to come out of their comfort zones and deliver the goods for the people of Fiji.

“We knew it was going to be tough against Tonga in front of their home crowd but the main aim for us was to get to the World Cup which I think motivated us to win.

“The job is done and now 2019 here we come,” he added.

Ma’afu, who was named in the starting line-up with Manasa Saulo and Sunia Koto, was replaced by Peni Ravai in the second half but was recalled after Ravai was injured.

More Stories