Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Samoa legend Peter Fatialofa dead at 54



Former Samoa rugby captain Peter Fatialofa, who led his team to a win over Wales in one of the game's most stunning upsets, died on Wednesday in his Pacific homeland, officials said.

Reports said Fatialofa suffered a heart attack in the capital Apia and died on his way to hospital. He was 54.

The Samoa Observer newspaper said the nation was in mourning for the pioneering prop, who helped establish Samoa as a force in world rugby.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said Fatialofa, who grew up in Auckland and retained strong ties with the city's rugby community, would be sorely missed.

"Peter was one of those great characters who was genuine, honest and what you saw was what you got," Tew said. "A hard and tough player and leader on the field, Peter had a huge heart for his beloved Samoa."

Fatialofa played 34 tests for Samoa, captaining the team during their first Rugby World Cup campaign in 1991, when they reached the quarterfinals before going down to Scotland.

Along the way, the islanders' ferocious tackling and adventurous running earned them a 16-13 win over Wales before a stunned crowd at Cardiff Arms Park, in a result described by the BBC as the darkest day in Welsh rugby history.

At the time, Fatialofa's team was playing under the title Western Samoa to avoid confusion with neighbouring American Samoa – prompting one Welsh player to supposedly remark after the game: "Thank God we weren't playing the whole of Samoa!"

The win sparked wild celebrations in Samoa and the team received a rapturous welcome when they returned home.

"They must have thought Jesus was on the plane," Fatialofa later commented.

Current All Black Ma'a Nonu tweeted that Fatialofa had inspired Samoan children, both in New Zealand and the islands, "to fulfil their rugby dreams".

All Black great Bryan Williams, who played alongside Fatialofa in Auckland club rugby, said the player – nicknamed "Fats" – was delighted to have helped his rugby-mad nation gain international recognition.

"He was so proud about that," Williams told the New Zealand Herald. "He just had a huge passion and drive to put Samoan rugby on the map and that's what he's done."

Williams is survived by his wife Anne and eight children.

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Brendan Venter
Boks must improve off the ball
While local rugby supporters should feel genuine pride after the Springboks went toe-to-toe with...

Gavin Rich
Pollard should get the Kallis treatment
The past few days have provided another example of how quickly the mood of the South African rugby...

Tony Johnson
NZ, SA dish up another great test
Another tremendous test, and further evidence of the massive respect between New Zealand and South...

Brenden Nel
Boks v NZ battles - bring them on!
It came as an innocuous question from an All Black supporter on Twitter, but it summed up the...