SPORTS

Naiqama Keeps Options Open

In the Super League grand final on Saturday night, the Fijian speedster scored twice for St Helens in their 12-10 win over Catalan Dragons, for their third title win in a row.
11 Oct 2021 14:07
Naiqama Keeps Options Open
Fijian Bati captain and St Helens hero Kevin Naiqama with the Super League title on October 9, 2021. Photo: The Guardian

Fijian Bati captain, Kevin Naiqama, showed why he is a key figure in our preparations for the 2022 Rugby League World Cup.

In the Super League grand final on Saturday night, the Fijian speedster scored twice for St Helens in their 12-10 win over Catalan Dragons, for their third title win in a row.

Naiqama also picked up the Harry Sunderland Trophy for his Man of the Match performance.

Fiji Bati head coach Joe Rabele, in an earlier interview, said Naiqama’s leadership experience is crucial for them.

“Kevin is very much involved with the Bati system despite playing in the Super League,” Rabele said.

The Bati’s leadership team is led by Naiqama, Viliame Kikau, Tui Kamikamica and Api Koroisau.

Kikau and Koroisau played for the Penrith Panthers when they won the NRL Premiership title last .

Naiqama told St Helens Media, the win was a memorable one.

“Definitely there is no words to describe this, it’s going to take a while to process what we’ve achieved as a playing group and coaching staff,” he said.

“It’s so hard to sum up the words not just this win but the last three years, we worked incredibly hard. The fans are sensational and I can speak highly for these fans.

“From the first day me and my wife arrived I arrived they welcomed us with open arms and supported us throughout the season.

“I can’t thank them enough because they have been part of us as a family and the team for the last three season. They’ve been so passionate behind us all season long and they make us put out a good performance.”

The former Wests Tigers centre is returning to Australia for family reasons and said at the post-match press conference that he was likely to retire but “wouldn’t say no straight away” if an NRL club called him.

“If that call came I wouldn’t put the phone down and would explore that but it will probably be my last game,” Naiqama said.

“I think it’s retirement. If I was going to play I’d have loved to stay but outside circumstances with my wife and my family has led to this decision to go back home. You couldn’t write a better fairytale. It was a difficult decision because I’ve loved my time here. They’ve provided a great support network for me and my wife,

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua 

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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