Warriors skipper finding it ‘tough’
Warriors coach Todd Payten has paid tribute to the efforts of his club captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as the star fullback grapples with playing an NRL season away from his family.
The Warriors won their latest fixture 26-20 against the Wests Tigers, with Tuivasa-Sheck putting in yet another standout performance.
His coach then revealed in a postmatch press conference just how hard it has been for the 2018 Dally M Medal winner this season.
“He’s probably doing it the toughest out of all of us, to be fair. He’s the only Kiwi over here without his family and he’s got two babies under three, so I know he’s not content.
“He’s a little bit muddled with his feelings, he’s always on the phone, and it’s tough for him. He’s got to lead a club, he’s got to lead a footy team, and some days, I can just see the burden he carries on his shoulders. I’m proud he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Although members of the Warriors squad whose families are on Australian passports have been able to enter Australia, anyone with a New Zealand passport has been unable to do so due to Covid-19 restrictions.
David Fusitu’a, Ken Maumalo, Agnatius Paasi and King Vuniyayawa all opted to return home this past week after their families were refused entry. However, Payten said TuivasaSheck has never considered a similar move, although he has suggested he look at taking steps to reunite with his family on Australian soil.
“I made the decision to bring my family over and I told him it has been a weight off my shoulders and I think you should do the same,” Payten said.
“I know his family’s got family at home which is really good help. But I know how I feel and there are days when you need them around. He has
said it openly that his family makes him happy.”
● The injury-hit Roosters did just enough to get past a gritty Gold Coast, winning 18-12 at the SCG yesterday to retain a top-four spot thanks to star Kiwis centre Joey Manu.
With both Morris twins joining a bulging Roosters injured list, the hosts struggled to put last year's wooden spooners away — despite the Titans twice having players in the sin bin.
Fortunately for them, the back-toback premiers had Manu. His leaping 58th-minute try and miracle first-half try-saver on Phillip Sami saved the Tricolours' blushes.
● Canberra held on for a crucial 14-12 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys in a bruising encounter last night in Townsville.
Englishman John Bateman made a successful return from a long injury layoff as the Raiders overcame a slow start and an early second-half deficit to break the Cowboys' hearts.
● The Penrith Panthers went three points clear at the top of the table with a comprehensive 42-12 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles, their seventh win in a row. The Panthers were 22-0 up inside half an hour and never looked back, with Nathan Cleary prominent, contributing 18 points.
Roosters Joey Manu and Luke Keary (No 6) celebrate.