Ava desperate to break Roosters hoodoo
It is a strike rate that irks Cronulla forward Ava Seumanufagai.
He has never beaten the Sydney Roosters in his six clashes with the Tricolours over five seasons in the Telstra Premiership.
And Seumanufagai hasn't just been beaten. He's been pummelled by the Roosters, who have scored 242 points in those six meetings to the Wests Tigers' humble 64. Only three times did his former club reach double figures, whereas the Roosters always scored 30 points or more.
The list is not happy reading for the softly spoken Seumanufagai ...
Friday night at Southern Cross Group Stadium and the 26-year-old forward has another crack at the Roosters and he may have come to the right place.
Cronulla have won six of their past seven games against the Roosters. And the Sharks are on a roll winning their last two matches in a row, against Parramatta and Melbourne.
Seumanufagai knows few players from the Bondi Junction club, apart from winger Daniel Tupou as they played under-20s together at Parramatta. But Tupou is out injured with a pectoral muscle strain.
"In all my years at the Tigers I've never beaten the Roosters. This will be the first time I've beaten the Roosters in my career," Seumanufagai told NRL.com with an air of confidence.
But the 114kg prop is feeling at home at the Sharks after signing a two-year deal.
"I really like the culture here – everything is player-driven," he said.
"It's not easy to make a change after a long time at another club. It's like starting a new school.
"I'm getting on with the boys really well. I'm getting to know the fans too."
The next goal is to convince Sharks coach Shane Flanagan he can handle more time on the field. At the moment he's averaging about 25 minutes.
"I'd like some more (time) but I've got to earn the trust. It's only early in the year, so if I keep playing well, more will come.
"I have to keep proving myself every week so I give him (Flanagan) confidence to leave me out there longer, or get me back on for a second stint," Seumanufagai said.
"I've got to show him I'm good enough to do the job. And I think I'm heading in the right direction."
Starting prop Andrew Fifita has been impressed with Seumanufagai's abilities, telling NRL.com last week it was comforting for him and fellow front-rower Matt Prior to know Cronulla's very own man mountain was on the bench waiting to take over.
"That's nice to hear," Seumanufagai said. "I just want to do my job and when I come on I want the boys to know I'm safe in defence. I've just got to keep my head switched on and keep plugging away."
Two things are working in his favour. He has a tackle efficiency rate of 96.2 percent, according to NRL stats, and he is connecting well with fellow interchange forward Joseph Paulo.
"I do a lot of work with Joseph as we both come off the bench together,'' Seumanufagai said.
"So we're trying to get some plays off each other and help support one another on the field.
"We're getting better and better. We need to keep practising."