16/04/2024

The Kaiviti Silktails defeated the Ryde-Eastwood Hawks 52-6. (Photo: NSWRL)

The Kaiviti Silktails obliterated the Ryde-Eastwood Hawks this round scoring 10 tries compared to the Hawks’ two. Second-rowers Paula Walisoliso and Meli Nasau both achieved hat-tricks while the Silktails back-line put on a show in front of their fans.

Going into the game, the Silktails were encountering an injury crisis with captain Apakuki Tavodi and star winger Viliame Tutuvili ruled out. After a disappointing loss against Wentworthville Magpies in the rain, they needed a win to keep their finals hopes alive.

The first-half was all Silktails as they dominated the attack. In defence they caused numerous errors and intimidated the opposition. From the kick-off, Ryde-Eastwood looked out of it nearly dropping the ball on the first possession.

In the first eight minutes the Silktails had three opportunities to put the first points on the board but two knock-ons derailed their chances.

They finally took advantage of their chances and crossed the line. Paula Walisoliso scored his first of the day out of the scrum busting through four players.

(Photo: Asia Pacific NRL)

It looked like the Hawks would be able to equal things up after the Silktails dropped the ball straight after their try. However, the Hawks looked disorientated in attack and couldn’t get anything flowing.

The first 20 minutes can be described as chaotic, with both teams having many opportunities but not taking advantage. A lack of discipline was shown with easy penalties given by the referee.

The referee who is a school-teacher throughout the week wasn’t going to take any abuse from the players. She stood her ground and let the game flow.

The next 20 minutes of the first-half was all Silktails. Within this period they scored three tries Meli Nasau, Vuate Karawalevu and Timoci Bola all scoring. What looked like a promising attack for Ryde-Eastwood turned into a try for the Silktails.

Making his return back into the side this week, Karawalevu ran nearly 100m to score under the posts.

A grubber by Hawks halfback Tristan Evans ended up in the Fijian players’ hands. He ran down the sideline, slowly making his way back to the middle of the field. There was no Hawks players in sight, which just depicted how incredible his speed is.

A little bit of creative brilliance by Iobe Taukeisalisali set-up Timoci Bola for the last try of the half. On last tackle with the team out of position and nowhere to go, he grubber kicked to himself, regained the ball, and kicked once again past the Hawks fullback. With the ball making its way to the in-goal area, Bola leapt on the loose ball to get himself on the scoreboard.

The first-half ended at 22-0 in the Kaiviti Silktails favour. Coach Wes Naiqama was proud of the teams first-half performance but said they needed to be better.

His half-time speech included staying disciplined, and proving that they are a finals team. He discussed that simple mistakes like dropping the ball near the tryline will cost them in nail-biting finals.

(Photo: Kaiviti Silktails)

The Silktails continued their red-hot form in the second half, covering the whole field in the first set after the break. Their second set was even better as the team set-up Nasau to score in the 43rd minute.

In a matter of minutes later, teammate Walisoliso went over for his second. Both back-rowers were trying to outdo each other for the most tries in the game.

After pulling out all of their plays in attack, Ryde-Eastwood Hawks play-maker Tristan Evans slid over the line from dummy-half to put them on the board. A converted goal made the score 34-6 with roughly 25 minutes to go.

Denying the chance for the Hawks to come back into the game, the Silktails put on the accelerator scoring four tries. Walisoliso and Nasau both scored another to land themselves a hat-trick, while Watisoni Waqanisaravi and Osea Natoga were the others to cross the line.

An easy overlap seen by the Silktails halves provided the winger with an easy try. Natoga put the ball down with a bit of flair, somersaulting over the line. His try positions him in third place for most tries in the Ron Massey Cup.

The Hawks trying to come back into the game rushed up early in defence but on each time it created an overlap for the Silktails. This caused the next two tries.

After a disappointing day, prop Callum Ellis scored a consolation try, minutes from the end of the game. At their home ground, the Silktails celebrated loudly in the dressing rooms as they achieved the biggest win in the clubs history.

Coach Wes Naiqama was happy with the win but said they players need to now move their attention to clashes on both Wednesday and Saturday next week. The Kaiviti Silktails who are currently sitting in sixth places are inches away from the fifth spot.

“Big focus on the next two games as I’m hoping one win will be enough to get us into the finals,” he said.

“Today was really important in the scheme of things, so onto the next one now.”

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