Three Kaiviti Silktails players are returning to NSWRL’s Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup after playing the opening eight rounds of the QRL’s Hostplus Cup with the Ipswich Jets.
The players – prop Malakai Kovekolau, fullback Timoci Bola (pictured above), and centre Ratu Temesia Jilivecevece – are among six former Silktails who were signed last November to play in the Qld Cup competition.
But a change in their visa conditions means they had to return to their Fijian club in NSW to continue playing.
Silktails Executive Director Stephen Driscoll said the club had welcomed back Kovekolau, Bola, Jilivecevece with open arms.
“It’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances because they enjoyed their time with the Jets – playing a combined 15 Qld Cup games between them,” he said.
“Ipswich was still very keen to have them but changes in how many overseas players can be utilised in the one team made it impossible for our guys to stay there.
“They joined our squad in Sydney for the Wentworthville Magpies game (loss 28-20) last weekend and began training with us over that four-day period.
“They will be ready for our next home game against St Marys this Saturday in Lautoka.”
The additions could be handy as the Silktails try to string a few wins together.
They currently have a 2-5 win-loss and sit seventh on the Ron Massey Cup ladder with 10 rounds left to play.
Jilivecevece was a prolific try-scorer for the Silktails in the 2021-22 seasons, while Bola was named Best Back at the club’s 2021 awards.
“We have had some close games and some not so close this year,” Driscoll said.
“But in all of them we’ve matched the opposition in physicality and are creating plenty of opportunities. However, with a really young squad, we’re just being impatient which is to be expected at their age.
“Jili, Mala and Jim will bring some experienced heads to this young group,” Driscoll said.
“We have six of our next eight games back in Fiji, so we’re looking at using that momentum to give our season a real lift.”
This article was written by NSWRL.