THE Deans fever is reaching its boiling point, yet it's still quarter-finals.
Yesterday, Ratu Navula College were almost on the edge of dropping out of competition when John Wesley College took the defending champions to the wire in their Coke Zero Deans under-18 quarter-final at the ANZ Stadium.
Both sides were locked at 16-all at full time and no score was scored during the sudden death period.
The thoughts of letting the coveted Deans Trophy slip through their hands, was at the back of their subconscious.
Even the reserves felt the tension, crossing their fingers hoping that lady luck favoured them.
But fortunately Ratu Navula had done enough during the 80-minute period, scoring two tries which later came back to favour them.
It was the same bitterness JWC encountered when it lost the Southern Zone title to Marist Brothers High School, a fortnight ago.
This time, it was much bitter as they were knocked out of the Deans competition. The tears on the eyes of the players summed up the story.
Ratu Navula marches on to the Deans semi-final against favourites Ratu Kadavulevu School next Saturday.
And everyone is saying the heron is flying high — RKS is the form team heading into the semi-finals, LMS continued to blow the Davui while the Victorians are still in the run.
Former Australian sevens representative Wise Kativerata said RKS looked to be the team to beat.
"RKS is the form team of them all," he said.
"They did everything right on the field, they're defending well and are running those straight lines during attacks. The old RKS performance is back and they will be the team to beat."
He said QVS looked unsettled while LMS did enough to advance through to the next stage. Kativerata said Ratu Navula needed to play calm rugby.
"Ratu Navula have the size but they at least need to use their forwards well at times."
Rati Navula's points against JWC came from the boot of fly half Sela Toga who booted two penalties and two tries which was scored by Samuela Biu and skipper Timoci Dawai.
JWC's kicker Sairusi Bakata kicked 11 points and lock forward Epeli Mataitini scored their only try.
Other U18 results: QVS 20 Navuso 18; LMS 30 MBHS 22; RKS 48 SGS 17; Rt Navula 16 JWC 16