Let's not get carried away and sentence Moape Ravuvu to the guillotine for leaving the Hong Kong sevens team in the lurch. The knee-jerk reaction, of course, was to brand him as a time-server who made the most of his chance in Hong Kong before de-camping. Moape is not the first Hong Kong rugby player to go AWOL. But he is indeed the most valuable player to do so. No wonder the reaction amongst many was to instantly label him as a deserter. Take a deep breath and consider the circumstances. His wife is six months pregnant and he has been away from her ever since they got married. She was in Hong Kong briefly, but was unhappy. Which pregnant woman would be happy if she had to live in a strange place and in a stranger's apartment without family or friends around her? Without friends, Hong Kong can be a bleak place. And without the support of family, which in Fiji is very close-knit, it becomes worse. Moape and his wife would have felt it keenly as they come from a society based on old-fashioned values. His wife's pregnancy would have just exaggerated his homesickness. Although Moape was promised many things when he came to Hong Kong, most of these promises never materialised. Kowloon, the club he joined initially, failed to find him a place to live or even a decent job. Maybe language barriers and cultural differences made it difficult for him to mix with the social set-up in town. He mostly kept to himself. Left alone, he could have wondered what the hell he was doing in Hong Kong. The fact that he took 115 kilograms of luggage when he left Hong Kong with the territory's sevens team to play in the Fiji Sevens, does smack of pre-meditation. He is guilty on this count, using his place in the Hong Kong team as a passage to Suva. However, it was well known for a long time that Moape was unhappy about living in Hong Kong. In his eyes, he did not have a future - although Trevor Gregory and DeA were trying to do something for next season. With the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union not contracting any of the top players in town, Moape knew he would not get huge financial rewards for playing rugby - perhaps contrary to what he had believed. Take all these factors collectively and you can see what an unhappy person he was: his future not secure, his pregnant wife away back home, missing friends and family. The Fijians, by nature, are not deceptive people. This is the belief of national coach George Simpkin who lived there for many years before coming to Hong Kong. If that is the case, Moape's decision to stay behind seems more instinctive (like the way he plays his rugby) than carefully planned out. He would have been under tremendous pressure from his wife and family to stay behind. His friends would have added their voices. The thought of not being around to see his child born must have been the crucial factor which made him stay behind. Only a cold and calculating person could avoid all these calls, which tug at the very heart strings. Moape was certainly not such a person. Hong Kong rugby will miss him for his playmaking skills. The unpredictable nature of his game, which would have some people tearing their hair out, is what makes him a match-winner. The territory needed him to spark the side towards victory. 'He was a playmaker of world class standards,' said a crushed Simpkin, who did not discount the possibility of taking him back into the fold if he were to return. If Moape were to return, Hong Kong rugby should forgive him. As Simpkin has apparently done. After all, there are things in life bigger and more important than rugby.