The Kaiviti Silktails will turn to their third captain in a month when front rower Apakuki Tavodi leads the team out for Saturday’s Round 13 Ron Massey Cup game against the Glebe Dirty Reds at Henson Park.
Tavodi has started all nine games at prop for the Silktails with coach Wes Naiqama confident the player they know as ‘Kooky’ can take over the reins from the injured Pio Seci.
“Pio finished the game last week but he spoke about getting a knock on his knee,” Naiqama said.
“He hasn’t been able to run all week because of it and now his right leg is in a brace for most of the week. I’m expecting him only to miss the one week.”
Seci took over from hooker/halfback Peni Tagituimua, who is playing his third game for the Bears in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup on Sunday at North Sydney Oval.
It will also be a week out for Silktails second rower Maika Serulevu, after he took the early guilty plea for a dangerous tackle charge, but Naiqama will get centre Tomasi Vunivagi and lock Salimoni Nasoki back from injury.
The Silktails have had three players suspended this season and Naiqama is mindful of the ill-discipline from giving away penalties and/or spending time on the sidelines.
“The last two weeks we’ve had seven guys on report so like any other team we’ve had to adjust to the new rules on head and neck contact,” he said.
“If anything, it’s probably our aggression that’s our own worst enemy at the moment.
“I want the guys to go in hard with their tackles but they’ve got to remember to do it smarter because the margin for error is small.”
The Silktails easily accounted for the Glebe Dirty Reds (36-16) the last time the two clubs met in Round Five.
“There’ll be no complacency because Glebe are becoming a better team each week with the style of football they’re playing,” Naiqama said.
“We’ve gone back to our approach leading into that round five match and it was just the way we turned up in our attitude in defence and the willingness to work for each other.
“We need more of that again this weekend.”
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.