Rugby | SPORTS

Veremo On The Reserve For A Reason

Marist Brothers High School 2022 Under-18 first five Veremo Waqanidrola believes the Number 25 on his jersey was part of divine intervention leading to their ending the school’s Vodafone Super Deans 44-year drought.
28 Oct 2022 13:30
Veremo On The Reserve For A Reason
Members of the Marist U18 team marching along Laucala Bay Road on October 22, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Marist Brothers High School 2022 Under-18 first five Ver­emo Waqanidrola believes the Number 25 on his jersey was part of divine intervention leading to their ending the school’s Voda­fone Super Deans 44-year drought.

Waqanidrola had sliced the up­rights with the penalty kick for Marist two minutes from full time of the Vodafone Super Deans U18 final to tip Suva Grammar 9-8 at Churchill Park on October 8.

“I was grateful when I was given the Number 25 jersey; I have been on the reserve this year numerous times,” Waqanidrola said.

“It is the year of Restoration for us at school, we did not just start pray­ing when we got to the eliminations, praying is part of Marist life. Re­gardless the outcome we are always praying.

Veremo Waqanidrola (middle) during the celebration on October 22, 2022. Photo: MOB Facebook

Veremo Waqanidrola (middle) during the celebration on October 22, 2022.
Photo: MOB Facebook

“While I was sitting on the bench we were continually praying, I was continually saying, Father help us, Jesus be with us.

“And when Benji (captain) came out the coach called me to get in. I was ready.”

Waqanidrola turns 21 in 2025, he intends accomplish the five-year plan he started after his 16th birth­day then. 2022 marks the 80 th Deans final since its inception in 1939; two separate epidemics cancelled the competition – measles in 1959 and COVID-19 in 2019 and 2020.

Year 13 arts student Waqanidro­la of Vunibau, Serua is a second born to the four siblings of the late Serevasio Bulivakarua Waqanidro­la and Wati Naruma of Laselase, Nadroga.

He was in infant school when his father a former Nadroga and na­tional sevens rep passed away.

Former Fijian Pearls captain Ma­tila Waqanidrola is his aunt as she is his late father’s younger sister.

He is the fourth in his lineage to play for Kaunikuila in the Deans competition and the tenth to be attending the all-boys school. Twins Elia and Joseva Rokowailoa (their mother is a Waqanidrola) were the first and second and Jone Waqanidrola was third.

With the Waqanidrola and Naru­ma names synonymous to sports, he is no exception.

He is named after his paternal grandfather who owns a dairy farm in his family’s abode, Naicegulevu­which has 12 houses.

It is there he and his cousins would mimic their sports heroes. His were the kickers in the likes of Daniel Carter and Andrew Mehrtens.

“During the COVID-19 I practised my kicking whenever I can, between coconut trees, over the clothes lines, between any two standing things.

“On that day I did not even hear the cheering or the jeering, I had a task to do and God was with me.

“When I saw the lineman lifting the flag, the red flags flying and the noise brought me back – I thank God for guiding that ball through the posts. It was mission accom­plished.”

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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