The Kaiviti Silktails will play their first match in Fiji since they entered the Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup competition three years ago, and there’s an extra milestone thrown in for the game against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs with both team captains being cousins.
The Round Two match on Saturday (25 March) at Churchill Park, Lautoka, already had a huge build-up for home fans to finally cheer on the Silktails after they spent two seasons (2021-22) based in Sydney due to COVID.
“But now the two opposing captains also being Fijian and being related has just added a whole other level of excitement,” Silktails Executive Director Stephen Driscoll said.
“Everybody has come to watch including our Chairman Petero Civoniceva from Brisbane.”
The Silktails will be led out by co-captain and five-eighth Rusiate Baleitamavua (pictured above), while the Bulldogs will be skippered by Penioni Tagituimua.
Tagituimua was Silktails captain in 2021 before signing with the North Sydney Bears in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup and now the Bulldogs for both The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup and Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup competitions.
He has played eight Tests for the Fiji Bati, including the Quarter-final against New Zealand in last year’s World Cup.
Baleitamavua scored two tries in the Silktails close 17-16 Round One loss to Penrith Brothers last Sunday.
“It will mean so much to Rusi and Peni and their families as they’re proud Fijians,” Driscoll said.
“It also means so much to the game of Rugby League because it’s given them this opportunity.
“The Bulldogs have never travelled to Fiji before to play so the locals get to see two quality Ron Massey Cup teams, which can only help in the development of our game here.”
This article was written by NSWRL.