Queen Victoria School has clinched the Fiji Secondary Schools Deans Under 18 trophy after hammering Natabua High School 26-15 in a nail-biting final at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Saturday.
The win seals the 24th time the school has won the title.
As a full Stadium roared its support of the pre-game meeting of Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro with players, both sides quickly spread across the pitch and staring back nonplussed, it was clear this would be a day that Deans rugby fans would remember for years to come.
Both sides saw the opportunity in front of them to send their sport stratospheric and delivered pure entertainment from start to finish.
Natabua started at pace, giving QVS a taste of their own running game.
They spread QVS wide and Etonia Vulaono found Iliesa Etenavula for the opening try just in the opening few minutes of the match for 5-0 lead after the conversion failed.
17 minutes past the clock and Natabua was awarded a penalty when QVS lock Josaia Tuinabouwaqa was caught fouling Natabua’s Paula Navukula.
Charles Senikoro took up the responsibility and booted the ball into the uprights making it 8-0.
Two minutes later, QVS regrouped and bounced back into the game when Number 8 Alipate Ratunagusu burst from a Natabua tackle and dived at the right corner flag to score but the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Both teams fought a strong battle but Natabua kept its pace in the game when prop Imanueli Penjueli barged through to score and Senikoro converted for a 15-5 lead at the break.
QVS came out firing in the second stanza in what looked more like a one sided affair scoring their second try through flanker Ratu Sireli Rokovailavo which Fly half Anare Tabakaucoro converted to merge the scoreline at 12-15.
Four minutes later, Natabua struggled to contain QVS’s backline and as the pressure mounted in their 22, prop Joseph Caginitabale barged through the opponents’ defence to put QVS ahead for the first time in the match while Senikoro slotted the conversion.
Natabua could have scored a try but QVS defenders held the ball above the try line disallowing the Westerners from causing further damage in the 62nd minute.
QVS showed outstanding defensive presence to hold Natabua out so often before fly-half Mikaele Vueti scored the winning the last try of the match to seal the victory.