Spine-tingling moment mates of tragic All Blacks star perform a powerful haka for his heartbroken family – after he died in a car crash aged just 25
- Powerful moment teammates of All Blacks star killed in crash perform the haka
- Sean Wainui’s wife Paige and two children watched the spine-tingling tribute
- She gripped her children tightly and wore a large black hat as the men danced
- Maori All Blacks international died in a crash New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty region
- His devastated wife broke her silence to share a heartbreaking tribute to player
The teammates of the Maori All Blacks star who was tragically killed in a car crash at just 25 have performed a powerful haka for his devastated young family.
Super Rugby star Sean Wainui, 25, died in a freak accident near Tauranga in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty region on Monday.
His heartbroken wife Paige shared the spine-tingling tribute to her Instagram with the caption: ‘Baby I need all your mana & kaha, I can’t do this without you’.
In the moving footage almost two dozen men perform the ceremonial Maori dance for Paige and her two children, son Kawariki, 2, and stepdaughter Arahia.
The player’s devastated widow Paige (middle) clutches her children close to her as another woman runs from behind the camera to throw her arms around the young family
The devastated widow clutches her children close to her as another woman runs from behind the camera to throw her arms around the young family in support.
‘This pain is unbearable’, Wainui’s grieving wife wrote on Instagram on Wednesday.
‘Kei te hoki koe ki tō whenua taurikura my baby māku koe e arahi. I know you’re waiting for us. We’re on our way to gizzy bringing you home now baby.’
The powerful tribute comes after a video of Wainui teaching his eight-month-old son Kawariki to do the haka went viral in February this year.
In the clip, he starts the chant while his smiling baby, standing on the sofa, beams up at him, squealed with delight as his father chants and stamps his feet.
Kawariki starts to slap his arms to the side, mimicking his father while he chants the traditional Maori words ‘ka mate’.
In the moving footage almost two dozen men perform the ceremonial Maori dance for Paige and her two children, son Kawariki, 2, and stepdaughter Arahia (pictured)
The powerful tribute from his teammates comes after a video of Wainui teaching his eight-month-old son Kawariki to do the haka went viral in February this year (pictured)
For the last verse, Mr Wainui takes his son’s hands and moves them in time with the chant before the child lets out an excited giggle.
‘It’s my husband and our son doing the haka together. Father and son bonding. It is a Maori haka called ka mate,’ Kawariki’s proud mother explained.
Performing the haka at rugby games began with the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team tour and has been carried on by the All Blacks since 1905.
Samoa, Tonga and Fiji also perform a haka before their international rugby games.
Ms Wainui broke her silence on Monday night when she posted a poignant photo and gut-wrenching tribute on her Instagram stories.
She posted a photo clutching her late husband’s arm, showing off his distinctive tattoo and her wedding ring.
‘I’m broken. I’m right here, baby. Always and forever,’ she captioned the photo, along with three broken heart emojis.
‘I’m broken. I’m right here, baby. Always and forever,’ Wainui’s devastated partner captioned the photo, along with three broken heart emojis (pictured)
The couple had only celebrated their one year wedding anniversary six weeks ago (pictured)
The couple had only celebrated their one year wedding anniversary six weeks ago, with the player sharing throwback snaps from their big day to Instagram.
‘One year of marriage with my darling. Love you more and more everyday. Here’s to another 100,’ he captioned the sweet tribute to his ‘wifey’.
The former under-20s New Zealand representative played 53 Super Rugby games for the Crusaders and current club the Chiefs.
Wainui made Super Rugby history in June by becoming the first player to score five tries in a match in a Trans-Tasman clash against the NSW Waratahs.
He also represented the Maori All Blacks on 10 occasions.
His Super Rugby club led the outpouring of tributes as Wainui was remembered as a passionate, hard-working and proud Māori and exceptional player.
‘He epitomised everything you could possibly ask for in a player,’ Chiefs and Maori All Blacks coach Clayton McMillan said.
The former under-20s New Zealand representative (pictured) played 53 Super Rugby games for the Crusaders and current club the Chiefs
‘He epitomised everything you could possibly ask for in a player,’ Chiefs and Maori All Blacks coach Clayton McMillan said of the player (pictured, middle)
‘He was an influential member in the teams he has been a part of, and his presence will be missed. Our sincere condolences to Paige, Kawariki and Arahia and his wider whānau at this difficult time. We are offering them our full support along with our players and staff.’
Wainui had been a fan favourite since joining the Chiefs in 2018, with New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson describing the tragedy as a dark day for the code.
He urged the media to give the Wainui family ‘space to grieve as we all reflect on a young life that has ended far too early’.
‘We know Sean’s passing will be felt deeply by everyone involved in rugby, particularly his Bay of Plenty and Chiefs team mates and we share their sorrow and their shock,’ Mr Robinson said.
An All Blacks statement read: ‘We are heartbroken right now. Sean, you were an inspiration and will never be forgotten. We extend all of our strength and aroha to your friends and whānau.
‘This pain is unbearable’, Wainui’s grieving wife Paige (pictured) wrote to Instagram on Wednesday, adding ‘Baby I need all your mana & kaha, I can’t do this without you’
The young couple share two children, son Kawariki, 2, and stepdaughter Arahia (pictured)
Police inquiries into the fatal crash are continuing.
‘Police were notified that a car had crashed into a tree at around 7.50am,’ a statement read.
‘The sole occupant of the vehicle died at the scene.
‘The Serious Crash Unit attended the scene, and enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are ongoing.’
Why is the haka performed?
The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace.
Haka are a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity.
Actions include violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant.
The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the tribe’s history.
Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. This includes family events, like birthdays and weddings.
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