THEY came, they battled, then they conquered. Queen Victoria School's rugby gladiators stamped their dominance in the Fiji Secondary School rugby battlefield winning the prestigious Coke Zero Deans under-18 title for two years in a row.
The rampaging Vulinitu warriors rose to the occasion and delivered the goods for their fans, withstanding the strong challenge from a determined Nasinu outfit, to win the pulsating final 31-21 at Lautoka's Churchill Park yesterday.
QVS who also won the first Deans rugby under-19 trophy since its inception in 1939 is the only team that has laid its hand on the newly introduced under-18 title.
Principal Filimone Vatuvoka commended his brave warriors for not letting their guards down despite Nasinu leading the points in the first few minutes of the game.
He thanked the players for their effort and dedicated the win to the QVS family in Fiji and abroad.
"The boys did the school proud by successfully defending the Deans and we thank God Almighty for the blessing," said Vatuvoka.
"Hard work has paid off for the boys and they deserve to be commended for their historic performance by winning this under-18 title for two years in a row."
Emotional skipper and school's Head Boy, Apenisa Kau, said for most of the players, the win was their tribute to the school.
"I told the boys at the break that this is our last time to wear these jerseys and we should play this game as if it was our last game on earth," Kau said.
"Most of us will be leaving the school by the end of the year and we should make this game a special and memorable one to treasure for the future.
"I am glad the boys came out of their comfort zone to make a memorable end to our school rugby career. Nasinu was a tough opponent but we managed to hang on until the final whistle," he said.
Man of the match and two-try hero, Erevou Kamikamica said the hard work and sacrifices had paid off for the team.
The Taveuni lad said the players couldn't ask for anything better than a win.
He said he was surprised when his name was called out as the best player.
"It's an honour to be recognised as the best player out of the many talented players in the final," Kamikamica said.
"I thank the Lord for the win and I dedicate my achievement to my grandparents back in Taveuni," he said.