Kyogles new captain-coach Wise Kativerata.
Kyogles new captain-coach Wise Kativerata.

Turkeys Wise move

By STEVE SPINKS TRIES and bashing people.

That's the recipe for success that former National Rugby League player Wise Kativerata believes could bring the Kyogle Turkeys their first local rugby league premiership since 1983.

Kativerata was made Kyogle's captain-coach earlier this month and already the Fijian has plans to bring a South Sea Islander approach to the Turkeys.

"My main job up here is to be a bit of a foundation," Kativerata said.

"I want to build a winning culture. I want to play some exciting football in the islander way and score some tries and bash people up."

If Kativerata gets his way, teams will rue having to go to New Park, Kyogle.

"I'm happy to get the job," he said. "I have to start coaching some where and that's what I'm interested in getting into.

"I'm getting to that stage where I'm getting close to finishing from playing football and it's good to get involved in the country especially in bringing kids through."

Kativerata and Kyogle club president John O'Reilly hinted they had signed a number of players from outside the Kyogle area including some players of Islander heritage.

The former South Sydney, Parramatta and St George Illawarra centre will be joined by Wayne Cuthbertson as reserve grade coach, Simon Davis as Under-18s mentor and Dave Constable as head trainer.


Constable, who is rated highly by local officials, in particular will give good advice to Kativerata, who is in his first coaching role.

The former NRL centre takes over as first grade coach from Wayne Lollback.

Despite being a rugby league town, Kyogle has struggled for consistency in first grade.

Although they finished third in 2006, the past 10 years has been fairly grim on the field.

However, what's not in doubt is that there is plenty of talent in the area.

Former Canberra flyer Ken Nagas, Illawarra's Nigel Roy, Canterbury's Paul Doolan and 2007 Junior Kangaroos Shannon Walker and Will Matthews have all played for the Turkeys.

"The club said the biggest problem they had was getting people to training," Kativerata said.

"I'm a big believer in if you train hard you get your chance and I'll try to change the culture of the club.

"If people aren't turning up to training it's probably because they are maybe bored with just running too much and not enough football.

"I'll be working hard on the players' skill levels." Kativerata, who moved to Lismore last year to take over the New Tatts Hotel, played for Marist Brothers last season.

The 30-year-old Fijian has also played rugby union for the New South Wales Waratahs and Australian Sevens teams.

He is a member of the Fiji Rugby League squad for the 2008 World Cup which will be held in Australia late next year.

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