Hat-tricks by back-rowers Paula Walisoliso and Meli Nasau laid the foundation for the Kaiviti Silktails biggest win of the season – 52-12 over Ryde-Eastwood Hawks at Mascot Oval on Saturday – but the Fijian club still has not cemented its place in the Ron Massey Cup finals.
The Silktails remain in sixth spot on the ladder after the massive 10 tries-to-two victory over the Hawks but only the top five progress.
The Silktails have two games in hand – a short four-day turn-around to play competition leaders Hills Bulls on Wednesday and then the Mounties next weekend to complete the postponed games from earlier in the season due to bad weather.
“This will give us real confidence going into these two catch-up games,” coach Wes Naiqama said.
“Going again so soon on Wednesday means I definitely have to rotate the squad to give some of the other boys an opportunity.
“Big focus on the next two games as I’m hoping one win will be enough to get us into the finals.
“Today was really important in the scheme of things, so onto the next one now.”
The Silktails appeared to have an unbeatable 22-0 lead at the break.
It took Ryde-Eastwood 53 minutes to put some points on the scoreboard, when halfback Tristan Evans crashed over.
Prop Callum Ellis scored the Hawks second four minutes from fulltime, but it only made a slight dent to the end result.
The Silktails set the pace in the opening 40 minutes scoring four tries before half-time, including one by prodigal son, Vuate Karawalevu.
The winger has signed this year with the North Sydney Bears in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup after he scored nine tries for the Silktails during the 2021 Ron Massey Cup season.
The Bears had a bye this weekend and the Sydney Roosters – the Bears NRL-affiliated club – played on Thursday night so Karawalevu was given permission to help his Fijian teammates try to make the semis.
Karawalevu certainly made his presence felt. He scooped up a Hawks grubber kick in the 28th minute and raced 95 metres untouched to score the Silktails third try.
It took just nine minutes for the Silktails to fire up the scoreboard, with a barnstorming run up the middle by Walisoliso – the first of his three for the afternoon.
Ten minutes later and Nasau went over in the left corner to stretch the lead out to 12-0. He scored twice in the second half to bring up his hat-trick.
Then came Karawalevu’s near length-of-the field effort before some individual brilliance by hooker Iobe Taukeisalisali.
He chipped ahead twice towards the uprights with his fullback Timoci Bola following up behind him to ground the ball.
In the second half, the other Silktails tries went to interchange forward Watisoni Waqanisaravi and right-side winger Osea Natoga.
Natoga now has nine tries in Ron Massey Cup this year, making him third overall for the competition.
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.