Waqa's flair paying off for Storm
The list of adjectives to describe Melbourne Storm's rollercoaster 2014 season are endless, but "electric" would be one to some up its right winger.
When Sisa Waqa is in possession Storm supporters begin to creep a little closer to – and often leave – the edge of their seats.
Waqa's six tries has the well-built Fijian ranked 4th in the competition and leading his club's tally heading into Sunday's trip to Canberra against the Raiders.
A main weapon in the Storm's attack this season has been using the 26-year-old's athleticism to get on the end of precise Cooper Cronk chip kicks – and the results have shown on the scoreboard.
Getting on the scoreboard is something Waqa has built his game in the past 18 months.
His 12 tries in 2013 ranked him equal second at the club with centre Will Chambers and the duo appear to have picked up where they have left off, and then some, this season.
After six rounds the right-side pairing have combined for 11 tries and have posed questions of opposition defences that until now have gone seemingly unanswered.
And while other teams are left scratching their heads, Waqa is happy to keep punishing them on the scoreboard.
"It's been good get my name up there and get on the scoring sheet," said Waqa.
"It was good to have Chambers back on the right side, we've been working together the last few seasons now but it's good to have him back."
However despite his aerial feats and eye-catching runs (465 meters), the livewire is determined not to be a one-trick pony and to work on deficiencies in his game.
His dropped high ball on Monday night handed the Dragons a 14-point lead and although the two points came the way of the Storm in the end it was a personal reminder of the continual work ahead for Waqa.
"That's one of the key aspects for myself and the other backs. That is something I have really been working hard to improve on," he said. "Most tries these days come off kicks and if you drop a ball, which is what happened on the weekend."
The Fijian redeemed himself though in the dying seconds of the match, as his Hail Mary-like pass to Tohu Harris in centre field set up Young Tonumaipea's match-winning try.
"I looked up and saw nothing but red jumpers in front of me. I looked across and saw 'T' [Harris] in space there and threw the ball to him and it all went from there," said Waqa.
Thanks in part to Waqa's split-second decision to make that infield pass the Storm now takes a 4-2 record with them to Canberra, a trip that has proven successful on the past four occasions.
However the Storm faces the prospect of making the trip without Chambers who will contest a shoulder charge for a hit on Dragons fullback Josh Dugan.
Sunday afternoon's encounter is a must-win for Canberra who are languishing in 14th position with just two wins this season.
If the Raiders want to save their season, stopping Waqa is crucial but remains easier said than done.