(Top Coach Edea Morea)
During his playing days he was a plucky little halfback and a cheeky one too. Wearing the number 7 jumper, he orchestrated the team around the paddock not so much with authority but through his sleeky passes, little chip and chase and those well weighted grubber kicks to the corner.
Some even thought he would be the next Heni Nou, Heni Owen, Joe Vaieke or other notable halfbacks who have donned the famous Green and White jersey with the number “7” patched on the back, but little did many know that the man with the slanted eye smile would be calling the shots on Grand Final day from the bench.
Edea Morea is perhaps one of the most dedicated and committed individuals ever to be a member of Hanuabada Hawks Rugby League Club. As a player, he was often the first to arrive at training and the last to leave. Whilst he did go as far as representing the Toyota Enga Mioks in the Digicel Cup, he would have been disappointed not to go a step further because he did have potential maybe not the size.
He was a diminutive half-back and formed a deadly combination with the ever flamboyant Noel John and their combination contributed to Hanuabada Hawks winning the first ever PRL 9’s competition against the much more fancied Wari Vele Raiders. John himself who had a stint with the NQ Cowboys was a genius with the ball in hand but best left for another chapter.
Last weekend, the former Hawkie half back more commonly known as Effy or Effiro led the Lalokau FM sponsored Hanuabada Hawks to another grand final appearance after 21 years.
In that last grand final, Hanuabada Hawks went down to the more fancied Defence outfit led by their powerhouse skipper and former Kumul Kera Ngaffin.
Ironically, the man who led the Hawkies in this 1996 Grand Final, Arua Ben-Moide, is the Head Trainer under Morea and he’ll be there barking down orders to ensure that he does not relive the feeling of 1996 on the final whistle. Like all things Ben-Moide, Arua’s son and Hawkies hulking forward Tommy is at the forefront of the battle to make sure that he gives his father the experience his father never had in the 96 final.
They say the Melbourne Cup stops a nation. In Hanuabada, it’s the Hawkies in the grand final that stops the village. And stop it will as they prepare themselves in green and white whilst ensuring their voices too are tuned up to sing their team to victory.
The recent fire incident in the village which resulted in 18 houses being burnt down also provides this Hanuabada team more motivation. For those victims affected by the tragic incident which has left them with very little, their pride and passion for the Hawkies remains and despite their circumstances they’ll be standing much taller than the houses around them. That is the power of this club. It unites them in times like this.
It’s been 42 years since the Hawkies last grand final victory. Can you believe that – 42 years.
For a club with a reputation for turning up frequently in the finals with its horde of supporters from Hanuabada Village to Wanigela and going all the way, 1975 almost seems like the times of ancient civilization.
And as bizarre as it sounds, some of those players of those “ancient” times in the likes of former skipper Guba John, Lohia Daroa, Garia Kora, Dikana Boge, Charlie Vaieke and many other great players of that Hawkies “ancient” era are expected to be up on the stands hoping for just once in their lifetime to relive those countless memories they so often created.
The game will be played at the newly improved PRL grounds now known as the National Football Stadium – the very ground that was maintained and improved by another Hawkie stalwart Lloyd Robson (late).
When the Hawkies stop the village come grand final day, it’s up to Effy and co to make these “ancient” players relive just once those memorable moments. After all, the ground was prepared by their very own in those ancient times.
Let them relive it Effy, just once, just once Effy!