By PARKER TAMBUA
BRISBANE Broncos back David Mead has paid tribute to Kumuls teammate Tu’u Maori who passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with motor neuron disease.
United Kingdom-based former Kumul, Jessy Joe Parker also joined Mead in airing his tribute to their fallen teammate.
Mead played alongside Maori in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup in Australia and 2009 Pacific Cup in Port Moresby while Parker knew Maori when they played together for PNG Prime Minister’s 13 side against Australia in the 2007 annual fixture at the old Lloyd Robson Oval. “It is very sad news to hear the passing of a former Kumul teammate Tu’u Maori,” Mead told The National yesterday.
“He (Maori) was a kind hearted person who always had a smile on his face.
“He always loved to joke around and always wanted to have a good atmosphere in camp.
“He will be missed dearly by his family and friends.”
Parker also highlighted Maori’s humility.
“The first time I met Tu’u was in 2007 for the Prime Ministers 13 game in Port Moresby and I played alongside him in the Kumuls up to the 2009 end of year tests,” Parker said.
“We were part of the squad that toured Europe in 2007 and I remember he was shy and humble when he came into camp.
“But after some weeks he knew everyone in the team so he was talkative and always loved cracking jokes.
“His favourite words in Tok Pisin that he always used were ‘rait mix’.
“One memorable highlight in representing PNG was in the 2007 fixture when we drew 24 all with Australia and Tu’u played on the wing.
“As for myself I think he is one of the most humbled player I’ve come to know. My condolences to his family.”
Maori come from a mix parentage of Samoa, New Zealand and PNG.
By PARKER TAMBUA