Vunivalu's dream season continues
Suliasi Vunivalu remains to be one of the stories of the season, with the Fijian winger now boasting an unbelievable record of 17 tries through 11 games.
The 20-year-old made his debut against the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in Round 7, and scored a double in the Storm's golden point win over Wests Tigers, with his debut try coming in the opening 60 seconds.
"My game plan [against the Tigers] was just to get there and do my job and help the other players," Vunivalu said.
"During that week Billy Slater came in and said they had a small backline, so you better go and dominate in the air, so for the first kick I just wanted to get the ball back, but it just happened so fast and I scored."
The scoring prowess of the winger has been the biggest highlight of his season, as Vunivalu has two hat-tricks and five doubles to his name already.
While he may receive most of the plaudits for his ability to score, Vunivalu said his teammates should be the ones praised.
"On the back of all my tries it's not just me, it's the whole team that's putting in all the effort, so it's not one person, it's everyone in the team," Vunivalu said.
Vunivalu's rise to the NRL was a lengthy one, as the Fijian had been battling injury issues for the past two seasons.
"I was just trying to get through my injuries, but to get a crack at the NRL, I didn’t know if the opportunity was going to come," Vunivalu said.
"I kept telling myself that when the opportunity comes, I would play my best and hopefully produce, and it's been a good year this year without an injury."
Another major factor in Vunivalu's ascent has been the influence of fellow countryman Marika Koroibete.
The relationship between the two Fijians is one Vunivalu cherishes, as the youngster had nothing but kind words for the former Tigers flyer.
"When I got here last year it made it two Fijians on the wing, so he's always supported me even when I was injured, and he's always like a big brother to me," Vunivalu said.
Just like the older sibling Vunivalu claims he is, Koroibete is proud of the way the youngster has come in and taken his opportunity.
"I always look after him and try to give him a tip when I can. We had some injuries at the start of the season and he got the call up and grabbed it with both hands, and now he's the top try-scorer, so I'm proud of him," Koroibete said of Vunivalu.
"I know the potential he has, he's a very talented player and very smart… he's doing great on the wing, he's been doing a tremendous job for us, and I'm happy to have another Fijian on the other wing and in the team."
While Vunivalu's fabulous season has put him on the rugby league map in Australia, the winger hopes his efforts in the NRL and those of his countrymen can inspire those back in his home country to follow their dreams of playing professionally.
"I feel good to see other Fijians in the competition doing a lot better, it gives a boost for the young Fijian kids back home to play their best and be at this level too," Vunivalu said.
"What we're doing it's not just for us, it's for all our family back home and all the kids wanting to play."