Kaiviti Silktails added a touch of the South Pacific to the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues training session on Friday by singing a traditional Fijian hymn to wish the players good luck for Game One of the Ampol State of Origin on Wednesday.
The final training session at Coogee Oval before the Blues players broke camp for the weekend was avidly watched by the Ron Massey Cup side coached by former Fiji Bati international and NRL star, Wes Naiqama.
“Origin is big in Fiji, so the boys took the opportunity to come and see them train,” Naiqama said.
“There’s a pretty even split in my team between NSW and Queensland supporters, with our chairman Petero (Civoniceva) being a Maroons legend.
“Fiji players Api (Koroisau) and Tariq (Sims) mean there’s a fair bit of Blues blood in my side too.
“It was a great experience for everyone because we all love Rugby League.”
Due to Apollo Project COVID-19 rules, the Silktails couldn’t be on the field with the NSW players but were on the sidelines watching the drills and set-plays.
“They soak in everything they are learning about the game and what better way (to learn) than to watch the best players in the state go about their business,” Naiqama said.
Kaivitia Silktails executive director Steve Driscoll is also involved with the Sydney Roosters as a trainer and was invited into the NSW Blues camp on Tuesday to conduct a boxing session at Ignite HQ Centre of Excellence.
“Stevie was in camp with them at the start of the week as he’s had a relationship with them for the past couple of years,” Naiqama said.
“He also knows Blues trainer Hayden Knowles and they got talking. Hayden said there was an open training session coming up and for the boys to come along and watch.
“We didn’t need to be asked twice.”
The Silktails moved their own Captain’s Run to an earlier time slot on Friday so they could get to Coogee Oval.
The Silktails are currently in fourth spot on the Ron Massey Cup ladder, due to play third-placed Glebe Dirty Reds at 3pm on Saturday at Henson Park. Glebe won their Round Two game 16-6 in March.
But the Silktails have won three of their past four games including a try with just seconds left in last week’s 36-34 win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.
“We definitely have a bit of momentum going now, which wasn’t there at the start of the season with all the rained-out games,” Naiqama said.
“We’ve been able to put back-to-back weekends together so there’s been a gradual improvement in our play. And the results are showing.
“That was a real gusty win against Blacktown last 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.