Fi­jian Star Vu­ni­valu Out For More NRL High­lights

Fiji Sun - - Sports - Feed­back: leonec@ fi­jisun.com.fj

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

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