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Tears of 9 years

Maikeli Seru
Sunday, October 08, 2017

ETUATE Bola's tears at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday said it all.

His try in the Vodafone Battle of the Bati, and solid defence and high workrate in the trial did not go unnoticed, especially by Fiji Bati coach, Mick Potter.

Bola and fellow Nabua Broncos and Vodafone Fiji Residents teammate Pio Seci were named in the 25-member Fiji Bati squad to the Rugby League World Cup in Australia.

Bola did not care about the fans as he broke down in tears publicly after his name was announced by the Minister for Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou.

He was helped up the stairs by RLWC squad members Eloni Vunakece and Josh Lovodua when the team was shown to the public for the first time.

"Nine years ago, I told myself that if I want to be a Fiji Bati, I have to sacrifice drinking kava, smoking cigarette, going to movies and mixing with friends. Since that day, I trained hard trying to improve my game all the time," the Buliya, Ono Kadavu man said.

"I think this is payback and I thank the Almighty and our parents for supporting me."

I am still in shock because I played my best, but did not dream that I will be named in the world cup squad.

"I gave my best in the Battle of the Bati, but did not expect to be named because there were players from Australia and they are professionals."

His family was at the grandstand when his name was announced.

His father Malakai Bola was also emotional.

"We are so happy that he has been given a spot, I always remind him that he should not be weary in training to be a national rep."

His mother Sophie Morrell Bola said: "We prayed every day as a family so that Etuate to become successful in his dream," she said.

Pio Seci was also emotional when his name was announced.

"I thank the good Lord because this is what I had been working on in the past three years," Seci said.

"God is good because this is His decision."

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