How three Manly pride jersey boycotters and a New Zealand Warriors player showed their support for teammate Manase Fainu after he stabbed a church leader in the back
- Manly hooker Manase Fainu was found guilty of stabbing a church leader
- He was jailed on Monday where he will stay until he is sentenced later this year
- Current and former teammates of Fainu showed their support for him
- The Manly players were the same ones who stood down over the pride jersey
Three Manly NRL players who refused to wear the club’s Pride jersey for religious reasons have publicly paid tribute to former teammate Manase Fainu after he stabbed a church leader in the back with a steak knife.
Haumole Olakau’atu waited just six minutes into the match against the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday to show their support for Fainu.
Meanwhile, across the ditch, New Zealand Warrior Addin Fonua-Blake also wore a mark of respect toward Fainu in his side’s 42-18 win over the Bulldogs.
Fainu arrives at the Parramatta District Court in Sydney, Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Olakau’atu was one of the seven Manly players who stood down from their crucial clash against the Sydney Roosters during the Women in League round because players were required to wear a Pride jersey with rainbow stripes.
He crossed the line early against the Titans and was quick to celebrate, making hand gestures including ’61’ to represent the 2161 Guildford postcode where he and Fainu grew up, along with another gesture representing handcuffs.
A lost ball in the lead-up meant the try was disallowed and Manly was ultimately flogged 44-24 by the lowly Titans, all but ending their finals hopes.
As a devout Christian, Josh Aloiai has made no secret of his close connection to Fainu, who reportedly met with teammates weeks ago to explain his moral opposition to the rainbow jersey.
Throughout the trial, the star prop supported Fainu and posted a picture outside court with Fainu, captioning it with a love heart and disabling all comments.
Fainu thanked his close friend for his support during a barbecue he had with mates on Sunday night, ahead of his jailing.
Josh Schuster posts his support for Fainu (left) and Fainu is seen playing for Manly (right)
‘Thank you uso (Samoan for brother), #LastSupper,’ Fainu wrote on Instagram, tagging Aloiai as he displayed a selection of meat provided by him.
Josh Schuster was the third member of the ‘Manly Seven’ to show his support, writing the initials MF on his wrist strapping in the match against the Gold Coast and shared the image on Instagram with the caption: ‘See ya soon my toko [brother in Tongan]’.
Fonua-Blake wrote NAS40 on his boots for their match against the Bulldogs, an image that Fainu shared on the weekend with the caption ‘FKN SOTIA [Tongan for soldier]’.
Fonua-Blake celebrates with team mates after scoring a try against the Bulldogs
The former Manly forward also dedicated his try celebration to Fainu while his partner posted: ‘Always be beside you through it all, love you my Fainu Fam’.
Fainu also shared an image of him and Fonua-Blake wearing Parabellum Clothing, a brand of clothing designed ‘from the struggle of struggles within the walls of our correction centres here in New Zealand’.
‘Parabellum is Latin for ‘Prepare for War.’,’ the website reads.
‘Our men and women who face the reality of being behind those walls and away from family is a war in itself, which is how this brand started.’
Fonua-Blake’s message for Fainu on his boot and Fainu and Fonua-Blake pictured together
The caption on the image read: ‘@afb95 [Fonua-Blake] Toko [brother] pulling thru wit the goods!’ along with a love heart.
The jury took only two hours last week to find Fainu guilty of stabbing Faamanu Levi in the back with a steak knife at Wattle Grove Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He remained on bail until his detention application could be heard by District Court Judge Nanette Williams on Monday. She denied Fainu’s request to remain on bail while they await sentencing.
As Fainu was led away in handcuffs, wearing a gray suit and blue and white tie, he hugged barrister Margaret Cunneen SC and waved at his family members.
In the last week Fainu has also shared Instagram stories including bible passages and the message: ‘One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide’.
Fainu will be jailed until his sentencing later this year. His solicitor Mr McGirr said the ‘wheels are in motion’ in preparing an appeal.