Special win for Gaunavinaka twins
April 18, 2021 8:41 am
The Nasinu Secondary School Panthers win yesterday over Ratu Kadavulevu Eels in the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League Under-19 final was quite special for the Gaunavinaka twins, Josefa and Naibuka.
They have been part of the losing sides in the Under 15 and 17 for two different schools.
In 2017, the twins were part of the RKS side that lost in the FSSRL U-15 final.
Two years later they featured for the Ratu Sukuna Memorial School U-17 that fell short again in the final.
However, yesterday’s 12-8 win over RKS is a fitting farewell for the Nakorovatu, Waima, Naitasiri brothers with maternal links to Ketei, Totoya,Lau.
Josefa who was later named the best player in the final says winning the title with his brother by his side is priceless.
“My brother challenges me a lot. Seeing him run next to me on the field, he gave me that extra push to play on and not be intimidated.”
It was quite an emotional moment for Josefa’s brother Naibuka when asked about their schools rugby league journey together.
“We’ve been playing since U15 for RKS and that time, they didn’t allow us to play together. It was a pain I had to deal with because I didn’t have my twin brother run next to me on the field. We lost in the final that year. We moved to RSMS in 2019, again we lost but today I’m so thankful that I get to play alongside my brother. He was named the best player and to me that’s an achievement for the both of us because it was as if I was being named the best player of the final.”
Naibuka says they were quite disheartened after the match to see some of the RKS players whom they played together in the U-15 four years ago shattered by the loss.
He adds a few of their U-17 teammates from RSMS also featured for RKS yesterday and he can’t imagine how they felt because they lost in the U-17 final as well.
The brother’s uncle is former Fiji 7s giant Mesake Rasari and their first cousin from their maternal side is current national 7s rep Livai Ikanikoda and former halfback Epeli Dranivasa.