Mosese Rauluni leads the Fiji team in the cibi. Photo: Rugby World
This feature first appeared in the January 2015 issue of Rugby World magazine
ON THE outskirts of Perthshire, Mosese Rauluni takes one look out of the window and shouts at the very top of his voice: “Stop the bus!”
The driver slams on the breaks and before he knows it, the Dundee High FP flyer emerges from the bus, two pints in hand, giggling in delight. He has never seen snow before.
His Scottish team-mates look on in bemusement – they had not really known this Australian-reared playmaker for long, though his brother Jacob did play for the club before and Mosese had given a good account of himself in a first outing against Kilmarnock – but there was something endearing about a thrilled Rauluni falling onto his back in the freshly lain powder and laughing.
Giant Nemani Nadolo plays on the wing for Fiji. Photo: AFP
It is easy to write romantically about Fijian rugby; these mysterious yet smiling gods of the running game.
They are richly endowed with talent, and their games have all the excitement of the great underdog battles, with metaphors of the David versus Goliath not uncommon. Their small islands and rugby teams are draped in culture and tradition and are as ethereal in song as they are with ball in hand alike.
Nikola Matawalu of Fiji makes a break against Canada at the Twickenham Stoop. Photo: Andrew Fosker/Seconds Left Images
National coach John McKee praised halfback Nikola Matawalu who scored twice and set up another try for Waisea Nayacalevu in the first half against Canada before limping off before halftime.
“He is recognised as a very classy player and will be an excitement in the tournament (Rugby World Cup),” McKee said during the post-match press conference at the Stoop across the road from Twickenham.