Opinion

Rugby Views: First Drop Goal By Varo, Not Qoro?

I was attending Liahona High School, a Mormon LDS High School at the time and I watched that drop kick with another Fijian student, Tota Ram Sharma with thousands of Tongan spectators.
18 Feb 2019 13:54
Rugby Views: First Drop Goal By Varo, Not Qoro?

Taitusi Sokiveta,

Phoenix, Arizona

The first drop goal by a national rugby forward was held by Vuniani Varo of Dratabu Village in Nadi in the opening match against Tonga at Teufaiva Park on a Saturday in 1972.

Varo played as breakaway (flanker) for Nadi and in Tonga Coach Inoke Tabualevu played him as a winger.

That’s the first time he scored by a drop goal far right of the field at the 25 yard line or 30 yard line.

It was Fiji’s first game on the 8-game tour of Tonga including three test matches.

I was attending Liahona High School, a Mormon LDS High School at the time and I watched that drop kick with another Fijian student, Tota Ram Sharma with thousands of Tongan spectators.

So I don’t think Manasa Qoro was the first unless he did it before 1972.

Varo played forward for Nadi but played winger for Fiji on the 1972 tour of Tonga.

There are other teammates living in Fiji today who can testify to Varo’s drop kick and first to score on that opening match.

They are Ilaitia Tuisese, Pio Bosco Tikoisuva, Jope Naucabalavu Junior, Isimeli Batibasaga, lived in Australia and other Fijian reps living today who were on the tour.

Anyways those days were known as Fijian reps and later in the 80s onwards they became the Flying Fijians.

For a forward/winger in an international match, the drop goal by Varo was the first in 1972 against Tonga.

SPORTS EDITOR’S NOTE

Flanker Manasa Qoro became the first forward to kick a drop goal during the Rugby World Cup. This was against Italy in the inaugural 1987 RWC in New Zealand.

Vuniani Varo, who also played as a loose forward, was playing as a winger at the time reader Sokiveta outlines.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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