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Vunivalu impresses Thorn in 16 minutes

February 27, 2021 4:43 pm
Suliasi Vunivalu. [Source:Super Rugby AU]

Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn says it took him nearly four years to finally figure out rugby but after watching Suliasi Vunivalu for 16 minutes he’s expecting a swifter transition.

Vunivalu really impressed Thorn last night when he came off the bench in the Reds 23-21 win over the Melbourne Rebels in round 2 of Super Rugby AU.

The Fijian flyer entered the field in the 64th minute and he almost made an incredible impact, sprinting more than 50 metres to chase a James O’Connor kick that Joe Powell’s boot only just reached first to deny a try.

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Vunivalu’s other touches were slick and dual international Thorn was pleased with what he saw and acknowledged how tough it would have been to come off the bench for a man used to playing 80 minutes.

Speaking to rugby.com.au, Thorn says the kick chase was so cool and Vunivalu wasn’t going to give up and he nearly scored the try.

Thorn says from his own experience, it wasn’t until his second stint in rugby that he I finally worked out the puzzle of the breakdown.

He says those parts of the game are so different to league, but the advantage he has was he was playing rugby as an eight-year-old and came to Australia, whereas Vunivalu was playing first 15 in New Zealand and hasn’t forget that skill.

Thorn expects him to upskill very quickly but his biggest challenge, though, may be earning a start in a side packed with Wallabies’ backline talent.

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