Tributes for ex-NRL star, Rocky youth worker Masada Iosefa
Masada Iosefa was in his element at the weekend, playing rugby league in the annual Warba Wangarunya carnival in Rockhampton.
The former NRL star led the way for the Emu Park Emus Keb Oakley/Dave Lennox Memorial team, which made the semi-finals on Sunday.
He was in good spirits and telling his good mate Kourtney Watene how much he was looking forward to getting away and spending some time in the Northern Territory.
He headed for Darwin on Monday morning. That night, the eve of his 33rd birthday, he was killed in a quad bike accident in the outer rural area of Herbert.
According to initial police investigations, Iosefa failed to negotiate a bend before the bike hit a guard rail and rolled.
Tributes are flowing for the 57-game NRL veteran and Rockhampton youth worker.
Watene was devastated when he heard the news on Tuesday morning.
"It's tragic, especially after just seeing him on the weekend," he said.
"He was a very hard hitter on the field but very generous with his time off it.
"The young people will miss him; he saw his youth work as a way to give back to the community."
Watene said Iosefa would often finish work at 4am on a Sunday and just hours later would be cooking a community barbecue for youngsters at Emu Park or driving them to a camp or some other activity.
Watene was instrumental in luring Iosefa to Rockhampton Brothers Rugby Club last year, where he played in the club's A-grade premiership-winning team.
Brothers president Trevor Robertson said Iosefa was well liked and would be sorely missed.
On the field, he was a standout.
"He was big and hard and aggressive and because of the quality athlete he was, he adapted very well," Robertson said.
"He was a very talented guy; on his day he was virtually unstoppable.
"It's shocking news and our thoughts are with his family and all of his friends."
The Emu Park Rugby League Club posted on its Facebook page a touching tribute for Masada, who was captain/coach of their A-grade team.
It described his death as "heartbreaking" and "devastating".
Messages of sympathy were being posted on the the Emus and Brothers Facebook pages.
Ryan Collins: Absolutely devastated at the news. Still can't believe it. Will miss that laugh coming from next door and that cheeky smile. Became a part of our family and I'm sure many others. Condolences to the club and Maz's family. RIP my brother.
Shannyn Nixon-smith: Rip Maz, you will be missed by your whole Ep families. You were a great mentor, listener, friend, coach and you definitely lite up a room with that smile and laugh. Fly high brother.
Jamie Stacpoole: Rip Masada, you will be missed mate. Top bloke with a big heart and always there when ya needed him. Taken way to early. Fly high in the sky bro. Show em how the emu's play footy up there. Much love.
Cairns Brothers Rugby Union Club: We are so sorry to hear of your sad news. Sending our thoughts and prayers on behalf of Brothers Cairns Rugby Union Club.
Leash Edwards: My thoughts are with his family, friends and team. May he Rest In Peace.
TraceyandClyde Rowley: I'm absolutely beside myself. Masada if only u knew how much u meant to our family.
Matty Carr: Condolences to friends and family was a very tough player and will be missed.
Douglas Rodgers: Shocking news. Thoughts with everyone who knew him.
Ben Wiltshire: Talented player. Way too young.