HIS reliable kicking boot is proving to be worth a million smileS when it matters.
It has won big games for his former school — Sila Central High School against giants Lelean Memorial School and Queen Victoria School.
And yesterday, featuring for his new school, Marika Kubu booted Ratu Kadavulevu School to its first ever appearance in the Deans under-18 final against LMS, in a fortnight's time.
Kubu stepped up and nailed the penalty off the tee to bring tears of joy to his team's camp in a breathtaking battle against defending champions Ratu Navula College at the ANZ Stadium.
He missed a conversion earlier in the opening half but slotted a penalty in the second spell to even the scores at 8-all when his side trailed 5-8 at the break.
After both sides were locked 8-all at fulltime, Kubu stepped up to the challenge in the second period of sudden death.
With an approximate 30 yards from the upright, Kubu was shouldered the huge responsibility at sudden death. With calmness to overcome the nerves, Kubu, the nephew of former Flying Fijian Jone Kubu was again caught in a prison bar that only slicing the uprights could set him free.
Twice last year while featuring for the Sila Central High School U17 side, Kubu's booted QVS and LMS out in the Eastern Zone competition.
"He is no stranger to this kind of kicking," a jubilant RKS team manager, Qatia Brown said after the match.
"Marika has done it before for Sila Central last year when he booted QVS and Lelean out so we knew he was going to slot in the penalty."
He said they were taken to the wire by a determined Ratu Navula side.
"It was a tough game but we just want to thank the Almighty for the win today (yesterday). Credit to the boys for fighting until the end," he said.
He acknowledged the RKS old scholars and supporters who flocked in numbers to support the boys. RKS scored the opening try from loose forward Joseva Rauga. Ratu Navula's points came from a penalty to Sela Toga and a try to Timoci Dawai.