There will be a strong Fijian-theme surrounding North Sydney Oval this Easter as Kaiviti Silktails players feature in all grades on Saturday afternoon.
Ron Massey Cup coach Wes Naiqama has picked his side to face joint competition leaders Hills District Bulls, including two players making their Silktails debuts in winger Osea Natoga and five-eighth Rusiate Baleitamavua.
Silktails players will also be involved in the Jersey Flegg Cup game on Saturday due to the partnership between the Fijian club and the Sydney Roosters.
Finishing off will be the Round Six match in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup between the North Sydney Bears and the Canberra Raiders, where Silktails centre Vuate Karawalevu will play his second game for the Bears.
The 20-year-old scored a try in the Bears Round One win over the Knights – his debut in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup. Alongside his Silktails games in the Ron Massey Cup last year, Karawalevu played five games for the Roosters Jersey Flegg side in 2021, scoring nine tries.
“It will be a real Fiji celebration and the timing couldn’t be better for our club,” North Sydney Bears CEO Gareth Holmes said.
“There is the link we have to the Roosters as their NRL feeder club and there’s the Silktails link with the Roosters. The Bears also have a relationship with the Hills Bulls – they feed into our lower grades sides.”
Holmes, whose mother is Fijian, is anticipating some further harmonious melodies as the Pacific Islanders again use song to express thanks and gratitude.
“Last year we had Silktails captain Penioni Tagituimua play for the Bears,” Holmes said.
“We had a magnificent response to his teammates coming along to watch him and then singing after the game.
“I’m hoping we get as many from the Fijian community as possible there on Saturday, although I realise it’s a challenge being the Easter weekend.”
Naiqama, whose brother Kevin Naiqama plays wing for the Bears when he’s not in Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson’s NRL side, is just keen to get his Ron Massey Cup players out on the field. Rounds Three and Four were washed out due to the weather.
“North Sydney Oval is such a great venue and my guys can’t wait to get out on the field after missing the last two weeks of football,” Naiqama said.
“It’s actually been a blessing in disguise for us as we got a lot of training done in that two-week period. As much as would have liked to keep that continuity from our first two games I’m pretty happy with what we’ve been able to do in our sessions to get the team ready.”
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.