Melbourne hit by Fijian fever
There is a Fijian fever sweeping through Melbourne and Storm fans are loving it.
Sisa Waqa and Marika Koroibete played their first game of the season together on Saturday night – with devastating effect.
The Fijian internationals combined for 324 metres and a try apiece as Melbourne defeated the Raiders 28-14 in front of 11,479 fans at AAMI Park.
Waqa was a late inclusion into the side at the expense of Kurt Mann, with Mahe Fonua shifting to the centre making it an all-Fijian onslaught on the edges.
Koroibete was playing just his second game for Melbourne after joining the club from Wests Tigers less than a month ago.
Saturday night may have been just the first game the two had played together but coach Craig Bellamy said he looked forward to the positives the pair could bring to the side in the coming weeks.
The sound of a Melbourne Storm all-Fijian wing pairing is something that rings quite nicely in the ears of Sisa Waqa.
"I told Bellyache I was excited to play alongside him tonight," Waqa told NRL.com.
"It is something that we talk about [Marika and I]… especially two Fijians on either flank and with Billy, Coops and Chambers on either side of us.
"But at the end of the day we still need to work hard and make sure we earn our spots for the team."
And a spot in the starting 13 is something Waqa has learnt not to take for granted in recent weeks.
Despite being the club's leading try scorer in 2014, the 27-year-old was dropped after the Round 16 loss to the Dragons.
The Fijian Flyer admits his week in Queensland Cup was a stark reminder that nothing is certain at NRL level.
"It was a wake up call for me personally," said Waqa.
"This club is all about consistency and that is something I felt I was lacking for the last six weeks.
"We spoke about that when he asked me to go and play [reserves] for the weekend.
"He [Bellamy] said if I play good then I would come straight back into the side which happened tonight."
Waqa has now scored 11 tries in 16 games this season.
Koroibete has already crossed the line 13 times in his 18-game career.
It may be too soon for to say it is time to be fearful of the Fijians but initial signs indicate it will not be long before the competition begins to sit up and take notice of the excitement machine brewing down south.