Fijian Star Vunivalu Out For More NRL Highlights
Suliasi Vunivalu knows the Melbourne Storm’s NRL finals games will be a step up but one thing won’t change. His home support in Fiji. The Storm winger broke Israel Folau’s rookie try record last week with his 22nd major of the season and when he logged onto his social media accounts post game he saw videos of his father and his family back home celebrating the moment. He admits those videos warm his heart and he knows more videos will appear after his side faces off with North Queensland Cowboys at AAMI Park in a qualifying final tonight. “They are watching at home and I have a couple of video tags (on social media) of them watching the game on TV,” Vunivalu said.
“I really love looking at those videos and seeing them happy with m y performance, that makes me happy and it came on Father’s Day, too, so I was happy to get the win for my dad.” This week Vunivalu will play his first final of any kind since the Fijian played high school rugby union in New Zealand.
“Playing in college (high school) would be my last final and that wouldn’t be the same as NRL – I’m looking forward to it,” Vunivalu said. Breaking Folau’s record also didn’t register too much with Vunivalu until he broke it in the final round win over the Sharks. “I’m proud of it,” Vunivalu said. “I wasn’t thinking about it before the game and I didn’t think I was going to get the try but I was pretty happy to go past the record.” Vunivalu said he expected nerves would set in close to kick-off tonight but the 20-year-old plans to focus his job of defending his area and leaping high for Cooper Cronk’s precision kicks. “When I’m in the moment I’ll be nervous but before that I’m just keeping myself cool,” Vunivalu said.
Vunivalu is contracted for next season but like his Fijian teammate Marika Koroibete, who is heading to rugby union at the end of this campaign, Vunivalu will likely have suitors lining up from both codes. “I’m not sure – there are options there but I will look at it when I chat with my manager,” Vunivalu said. “We will see.” –Sydney Herald Morning