HOMEBOY and crowd favourite Metuisela Talebula was the star of the Flying Fijians in their 29-17 win over the Ikale Tahi Tonga at Lautoka's Churchill Park yesterday.
Playing in front of his ardent fans, the Natabua star displayed sublime skills and sensational individual talent that saw him registering 15 points for Fiji, through two tries, a conversion and a penalty.
The stylish fullback cum flyhalf registered his name on the score sheet when he scored the first try of the game in the 19th minute. Winger Isimeli Koniferedi stripped the ball in a tackle near Fiji's 10-metre line, raced away, threw a dummy before unloading for Talebula to score underneath the cross bar.
Talebula's piece of brilliance once again excited his fans in the 64th minute when he received a "hospital pass" from one of the forwards near the halfway line.
With the visitors leading 17-14, the national 7s playmaker burst his way through the red wall, pushing three tacklers out of his way and found himself clear as he dashed up field.
The Tongan cover defence was quick to cut him off but the 21-year-old star stepped off his left foot to leave the diving cover defence in vain as he raced away to score an individual try that saw the fans erupt in celebration.
The soft-spoken player dedicated his two tries to his fans for turning up in numbers to support him and the team.
Talebula said he was happy with his contribution which helped the Flying Fijians end their Pacific Nations Cup campaign with a win.
When asked of his second try, Talebula said: "I was confident all along that I would score and when the chances come I made sure to use them well.
"I realised the Tongans were targeting our players out wide which is why I decided to burst up field and as soon as I was clear, I sensed the try line in front of me.
"I feel great to have scored two tries and I thank my teammates for their effort, support and teamwork which contributed to my tries.
"I thank the fans for their support, they played a huge part in our win today."
Talebula has scored three tries in his two Test outings and aims to score more tries.
Fiji's other tries were scored by tireless flanker Jo Domolailai and substitute player Maikeli Mocetadra.
Tonga led 9-7 at the break before Fiji bounced back in the second spell to seal the game with a win in a hard fought battle.
Fiji finished second behind Samoa in the PNC campaign after two wins over Tonga and Japan and a loss to Samoa.