Young half Sunia Naruma gets his chance in the Kaiviti Silktails line-up with the decision to rest five-eighth Waisale Nayavucere in Saturday’s home game against Cabramatta at Mascot Oval.
Coach Wes Naiqama said it wasn’t an easy conversation to have with Nayavucere, who has played in each of the five Silktails games in Ron Massey Cup so far, but it was a necessary one.
“We’ve been talking about the same thing every week in regards to our last-plays and our game management, so I just thought it’s a good opportunity to give Sunia a crack,” he said.
“‘Wise’ hasn’t been quite getting the job done and that’s something we’ve highlighted that we need to get better at. I decided to give ‘Wise’ a rest this week, but he’ll be 18th man.
”Look effort-wise he’s been really good for us with the stuff he does off the ball. But we’ve just got to polish his game up a little. We’re confident he’ll respond to that.
“He’s an important part of this team so I wouldn’t want him to be out of this team for too long.”
Twenty-year-old Naruma now has his first spot in the starting side after coming off the bench in the 21-20 loss to Mounties last weekend. He’s the third-string halfback in the Silktails 28-man squad.
“He’s also been training well with the Under 21s Roosters side. He’s been really patient and applying himself really well at training,” Naiqama said.
“I just thought it’s the right time to make this change.”
Naiqama welcomes the return after five weeks of 99kg lock Salimoni Nasoki, who badly sprained his ankle in the round three game against St Mary’s. He will start off the bench.
“He’s a really important member of this team. It’s great to have him back – he’ll definitely add something to the team,” said Naiqama.
The Silktails are looking for a more upbeat ending than last week’s one-point loss.
A lot of that hinges on not making handling errors and other mistakes in the opening few minutes.
“Our start to games needs to be fixed. We started poorly against last week – that’s been a big focus for us this week,” Naiqama said.
Kick-off for the round eight against Cabramatta is at 3pm. The Silktails are currently sitting 6th on the Ron Massey ladder with two wins from five games.
The Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup is proudly supported by the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports.
The NSWRL receives funding from the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports to support the Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup.