The Kaiviti Silktails are well on their way to achieving two of their stated pre-season goals as the Ron Massey Cup season continues.
The Fijian team wanted to provide a pathway for players in their 28-man squad into higher grades in the Australian domestic competition, as well as secure a finals berth for the 2021 season.
Centre-winger Vuate Karawalevu, 20, will play his second game with the Sydney Roosters’ Jersey Flegg team on Saturday after a scoring a try in their Round Nine win over Parramatta Eels while hooker-halfback Peni Tagituimua and back rower Pio Seci have been training with the North Sydney Bears’ Knock-On Effect NSW Cup side for the past month.
“Ideally we’d like to have our best 18 playing every week but it’s a testament to the boys we have in this squad that if they put in a good performance, play well consistently, they can get high honours which Vuate already has,” Silktails coach Wes Naiqama said.
“It just shows we’re heading in the right direction with our program.”
Tomasi Vunicagi returns from a two-week suspension at right centre to cover for Karawalevu for the sixth-placed Silktails’ match against Hills District Bulls while prop Joeli Vulavou will miss his first game after injuring his knee in the 42-20 win over the Ryde-Eastwood Hawks at Belmore Oval last round.
“It’s a long season so there’s no reason to rush him back in as were pretty healthy with our middles,” Naiqama said.
Josaia Raboiliku moves from lock to the front row, with Salimoni Nasoki coming off the bench to start at No.13. The Silktails headed to the Gold Coast for the Round 10 bye round, and combined sightseeing with regular field and gym sessions.
“It was a good opportunity for a change of scenery and a freshen-up,” Naiqama said.
“It’s also good we’ve had virtually two weeks to prepare for the Hills because they’re second on the ladder.
“We’ve been looking at this game for a while now because we want to get a gauge of where we stand in this competition.”
The Silktails are currently in the top-six but could make top-four if results fall their way this round.
“We’ve had four wins, lost two really close games against Mounties and Windsor, so we could be even higher on the ladder,” Naiqama said.
“We’ve re-set and are determined to reach our goal (of a top six finish).
“We’re broken the rest of the season into four-week blocks and Hills are the first game in a big month of football for us.”
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.