IT'S our era now! Those were the words of Assemblies of God High School under 18 rugby team technical adviser, Eroni Vereivalu.
The former national under-20 and Naitasiri coach has been training the school's under 18 players for the most important game of their lives.
AOG will face Nasinu Secondary School in the grade final in the Southern Zone Secondary School Rugby competition at the Suva Grammar School grounds tomorrow.
Vereivalu said the side had made history by reaching the final but the chapter would be completed when the dust settles tomorrow.
He said the school had never been past the semi-finals in the competition and now that they had reached the final, coming back empty-handed would be the biggest disappointment the players would face. "I don't think there was ever a time when we made it past the semi-finals of this competition," Vereivalu said.
"We hardly made it to the quarter-finals but this year we have re-written the history books by reaching the final."
He said for so long they had competed in the shadows of the well renowned schools but it was time for AOG to shine.
"All these years, we have been in the shadows of teams like Marist Brothers' High School and Suva Grammar School but not anymore," Vereivalu said.
"It's our era now and we proved that by beating them on our way to the final.
"We have stamped our mark and we will come back with the trophy on Saturday (tomorrow)."
Vereivalu said they would put up a massive effort to avenge their 3-10 loss to Nasinu in the pool stages of the competition. "We saw our mistakes and their weaknesses not only in that loss but in the other games we have played since then. We know what they are made of and we are ready to match them and beat them.
He said the team had made a lot of improvements.
"We have to make sure we have possession because possession is key and we have to pressure them in all aspects of the game. We will contest for possession in every breakdown, we will defend with all our might and we will make sure we make life miserable for them on the field."
Vereivalu has asked for the players to do their school proud and he has asked supporters to back the team in their attempt to become the top team in the competition. "My final message to the players before they take to the field will be for them to do everything right on the field and to do the school proud.
"Do it for the schools, for their parents, for the church, for their community and everyone associated with the school.
"Also, I would like to ask the church and AOG community in Fiji for their support, especially their prayer and from those who can make it to the venue of the final, the parents, old scholars, students and supports, please cheer your hearts out for the team," he said.
AOG and Nasinu have qualified for the national Deans competition quarter-finals while the third team will be the winner between MBHS and SGS.
In the eastern zone, Queen Victoria School and Ratu Kadavulevu School are unbeaten and are likely to qualify for the national competition but the third team will be known next weekend.
Only two schools from the western zone will feature in the national quarter-finals and Central College of Lautoka is looking promising.