Missing Melbourne's preliminary final loss to the Sydney Roosters last year, the 24-year-old feared history could be repeating itself. But that's a big moment and you've got to take it. A legend retires - Slater's career highlights. This channel was generated automatically by YouTube's video discovery system. During his time in Melbourne’s U20s system, Vunivalu also played a total of 19 matches in the Queensland Cup competition with the Storm’s two feeder clubs – the Sunshine Coast Falcons (2015) and Brisbane-based side, the Easts Tigers (2016). Suliasi Vunivalu is keeping the Melbourne masseur working overtime as he tries to keep his troublesome hamstring in shape for the Storm's NRL preliminary final next Friday night. "He's (Koroibete) been killing it in rugby union and it gives me confidence I can do what he's doing.". The veteran coach rode Vunivalu's sprint from the coach's box like Seinfeld's Kramer on one hell of a mudder, out-celebrating his own player as he shook off a late challenge from Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai. But neither were anywhere near as devastating as the Melbourne flyers, whose strike rate is trumped – only by the barest of margins – by iconic Brisbane dual internationals Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri among pairings with more than 50 combined NRL tries. If the Storm duo can score three tries between them on Sunday they'll eclipse the strike rate of Sailor and Tuqiri and officially be the most lethal duo of the NRL era. Addo-Carr: It'll probably be my last week with Storm. Brad Thorn didn’t need to see Suliasi Vunivalu’s spectacular NRL grand final try to convince him the Queensland Reds’ successful pursuit of the Storm flyer was [...], Ten years ago, an awe-struck Suliasi Vunivalu watched his first game of rugby league on a flickering TV in a Fiji restaurant. Suliasi Vunivalu (born 27 November 1995) is a Fijian professional rugby league footballer who plays on the wing for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL and Fiji at international level. NRL head of football Graham Annesley wants an explanation over a Storm trainer delaying a game to seemingly treat Suliasi Vunivalu for cramp. Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards with 34.5km/h leads the way for Penrith. [6], In 2014 and 2015, he played for the Melbourne Storm's NYC team. "Billy worked really hard without the ball and he was loud at the back and that is what I try to do on the wing. I didn't know anything about rugby league when I first turned up. Official Fan page of Flying Fijian winger for the Melbourne Storm! Media Partners. "I'm so grateful to Craig [Bellamy] and everyone here. Cameron Smith pays tribute to Victoria then raises Provan-Summons trophy. "I'm still having second thoughts about [his rugby move], to be honest. He had faith his hamstring was up for two more games in the NRL, should the Storm make it to the grand final this year. "My family's been back in Melbourne all season, there's a few of us in that position," he said. The rugby-bound winger has suffered left hamstring issues all season while he was also sidelined with a broken jaw with the injuries limiting him to 15 games. Vunivalu will keep an eye on the Wallabies Bledisloe Cup match in New Zealand on Sunday, hopeful that he could follow ex-Storm winger Marika Koroibete into the Test side. Averaging 15 tries each per season, Addo-Carr and Vunivalu have proven themselves as tryscoring threats few can match and far more than just the finishing flourish at the end of Melbourne's backline. On December 3rd, Vunivalu signed a two year deal with the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby, beginning in 2021. Suliasi Vunivalu is keeping the Melbourne masseur working overtime as he tries to keep his troublesome hamstring in shape for the Storm's NRL preliminary final next Friday night. It is special. On 2 October, he played in the 2016 NRL Grand Final loss against Sharks.[14]. Sign-up here. "I was in Suva and I was walking past a restaurant and saw that the game was on. Major Partners. He would repeat this effort in 2017 as he won the Dally M Top Try Scorer award for a second-straight year with a further 23 tries and capped-off the season with a premiership after the Storm won the NRL Grand Final. On December 3rd 2019 he signed a deal with the Queensland Reds that competes in the Super Rugby starting in 2021 Vunivalu repainted Fiji Bati in the 2018 Pacific Rugby League Tests. #SuperRugby, A post shared by rugby.com.au (@rugbycomau) on Dec 2, 2019 at 10:29pm PST, Squads named for Queensland Women’s XV Select Match, Stage is set for a Ballymore classic between Tigers and Red Heavies, Rugby welcomes LNP support for Ballymore and country rugby, Brad Thorn and Reds team staff recommit to Queensland. Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu will load up on a favourite chicken teriyaki dish in a bid to regain weight after a fortnight of being restricted to squashed foods and sipping on water through a straw. Copyright in all R&S materials is owned by Racing and Sports Pty Ltd (R&S). Rugby: Rod Kafer give his opinion on how Suliasi Vunivalu will fare after switching codes following his final game with the Melbourne Storm. In order to provide the best user experience, we use http cookies at this site. A schoolboy Rugby Union talent in New Zealand, Vunivalu will make the switch back to the 15-man code following several years in the NRL. Vunivalu was relieved this time it was only a cramp and he would be available for the Suncorp Stadium grand final qualifier. He played in the 2018 NRL Grand Final. Ten years ago, an awe-struck Suliasi Vunivalu watched his first game of rugby league on a flickering TV in a Fiji restaurant. In a nod to the esteem Vunivalu holds among his teammates, the Storm returned to the soggy ANZ Stadium turf at 1am with a moving farewell for their star winger. 2 weeks ago ... Premier Partner. Born in Suva, Vunivalu moved from Fiji to New Zealand at 16 and played Rugby at Auckland’s St Kentigern College. [15] This is my fourth grand final and I've had two wins, I definitely didn't want to be 1-3. "I want to stay but I've got to take that new challenge for myself. I didn't want to be sitting there thinking 'what if?'. It's hard for sure, but this is my job and this is how I put bread on the table for them. [17] Vunivalu was selected in the Fiji 24-man squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. "But I was always a big fan, so when my manager told me 'Storm want you' I was straight on it. Of all those four-pointers, none have garnered quite the reaction from Bellamy as that 30th minute runaway effort from Cleary's looping long ball. For Vunivalu, one-time inspiration turned teammate Slater has had a telling influence on his tryscoring feats. Signing a two-year deal to play Super Rugby with Queensland, Vunivalu said it was sinking in that his time with Melbourne was coming to an end. R&S takes all care in the preparation of information appearing on the site, but accepts no responsibility nor warrants the accuracy of the information displayed. "I was so nervous going into last week's game, knowing it was going to be high intensity," Vunivalu said. On December 3rd 2019 he signed a deal with the Queensland Reds that competes in the Super Rugby starting in 2021, Vunivalu was born in Suva, Fiji, and grew up in the province of Bua and was educated at Lelean Memorial School.[5]. 1 week ago He made his NRL debut in 2016 and has played 109 games, scoring 84 tries. [8] In Round 7, he made his NRL debut for the Storm against the Wests Tigers,[9][10] scoring two tries on debut. Suliasi Vunivalu beats several Raiders on his way to what looks like an easy try to the Storm. "Luai almost got me there. "I was watching [Dylan] Edwards on my left and had no idea there was someone coming from behind," Vunivalu grinned afterwards. "I've only seen them by FaceTime. "Suliasi Vunivalu - Career Stats & Summary", "Updated team lists: Wests Tigers v Storm", "Warriors suffer embarrassing 42-0 defeat to Melbourne Storm on Anzac Day", "Storm monster Titans in seven-try slaughter", "Melbourne Storm re-sign Suliasi Vunivalu, Josh Addo-Carr on multi-year deals", "World Cup squads: Every team, every country", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Suliasi_Vunivalu&oldid=986149069, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 October 2020, at 02:40. The rugby-bound winger has suffered left hamstring issues all season while he was also sidelined with a broken jaw with the injuries limiting him to 15 games. The song has provided some stirring moments throughout rugby league's recent history, having been sung by national side, the Bati, before games since the 2008 World Cup. I would probably just let [the opposition] catch it and tackle them. "I have a bad back that has transferred into my hamstring problems so I'm trying to be active and getting treatment on that with a few massages a week.". "100 per cent - the week off will definitely benefit my hamstring," he said. They were the first of many that year, as Vunivalu broke the record for Melbourne’s highest try-scorer in one season with a total of 23 which also saw him take-out the 2016 Dally M Top Try Scorer award. The Storm have been slugged $10,000 for stopping play to treat Suliasi Vunivalu for cramp. Storm speed demons Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr have scored tries for fun, and at a rate rarely seen in rugby league, since linking as a wing pairing four years ago. Source: News Corp Australia Two days prior to his first grade debut, the Storm had struck a deal with Addo-Carr’s management. Born in Suva, Vunivalu moved from Fiji to New Zealand at 16 and played Rugby at Auckland’s St Kentigern College. NRL.com understands Melbourne players learned the words to the Fijian hymn, "Noqu Masu", while in camp on the Sunshine Coast. As a wing combination only Knights mainstays Akuila Uate and James McManus (125 tries together), and Canterbury title winners Hazem El Masri and Matt Utai (121 tries) have been more prolific since 1998. Speaking before receiving his emotional send-off from his teammates, Vunivalu said he would be well and truly open to a Storm reunion at some point in his career. Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “As a group we look forward to welcoming Suliasi Vunivalu back to Rugby and to Queensland in 2021. On Sunday, he will play his fourt [...]. Following his success with Easts in 2016, Vunivalu went on to make his NRL debut in Round 7 for the Storm where he scored two tries. "I am happy to score tries and I like seeing [Addo-Carr] score them but we are competitive," Vunivalu said. 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