SPORTS

Kikau Tipped To Lead Bati

The Bau, Tailevu native is highly favoured to replace Kevin Naiqama.
29 Dec 2020 16:57
Kikau Tipped To Lead Bati
Viliame Kikau on attack against the Knights during this year’s NRL competition. Photo: NRL

Penrith Panthers and Vodafone Fijian Bati front-rower Viliame ‘Bill’ Kikau could lead the team to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Many like the former Fiji Bati coach Brandon Costin spoke highly of Kikau’s leadership quality.

The Bau, Tailevu native is highly favoured to replace Kevin Naiqama.

His being very impressive this season making sure he runs and carries well.

The former Marist Brothers High School student also played his first NRL cup final this season marking an increadile journey for the robust Fijian.

‘Big Bill’ has the full quality of leading the team . According to close friends and team mates

When Bill is in camp everyone are on their toes because when he speaks, the boys listen and respond.

He has been groomed as the captain on the field and around the ball, that is around the organization in the game plan that the Bati has.

According to the NRL.com stats Kikau is the King of the Benchies.

Kikau is officially the best player in the NRL in terms of lifting his team when he comes off the bench.

NRL.com Stats shows that in those six games Kikau came off the bench Penrith trail their opponents by 2.83 points per game for the time Kikau is off.

However during Kikau’s time on field in those matches Penrith are 11.67 points per game better than their opponents, for a stunning differential of 14.50 points per game to the good for Kikau. It was a trend Kikau started forming in convincing fashion right from round one, when his team conceded three early tries to the Eels before the rampaging left-edge forward came on and tore the Eels to shreds to help the Panthers to a comeback 24-14 win.

Applying a minimum of five games played off the bench and an accrued total of at least 200 minutes on-field in the Telstra Premiership this season, the next best player is currently-injured Cowboy John Asiata, with North Queensland slightly edging their opponents while he is on while being 7.14 points per game worse off in his time off-field. That alone speaks volume of the character this Bau lad has in terms of being a team player who is ready to die for his team mates, the right fit for the captaincy role but that will be determined in the near future by the new Fiji Bati head coach Jo Rabele.

Former Bati coach Costin shared some comments about Kikau during his term with the team.

“He is an absolute leader in everything that he does for the Fiji Bati team and in his actions on the field and on the training pitch and in the gym.”

Costin shared his experience with Kikau as a humble leader.

“My experience with Bill is that he likes to be a little bit more understated, his actions do the talking. His been out in Australia consistently for a few years now so he is a perfect leader,” he said.

“He is one of the best attacking edge back rowers in the NRL. He has got speed for a big man and the way he moves laterally like side to side and catches defenders off-guard his just so brilliant.

“He has got great off-load pass, good speed, size so his exactly what any NRL side would want.

“He is one of the best players in the NRL and every club wants him. We are lucky to have Bill as part of our team and be the leader that he is.”

Kikau has appeared 54 times and scored 15 tries for the Panthers and played six times for the Fiji Bati side scoring five tries.

With the year 2020 ending and the 2021 Rugby League World Cup looming the onus is on coach Rabele to choose his captain whether it is going to be Viliame Kikau or Kevin Naiqama only time will tell.

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj


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