April 28, 2022
Fiji Bati and Penrith Panthers key man Viliame Kikau is expecting a tough match from Gold Coast Titans forward David Fifita who makes a return in their Round 8 NRL clash tomorrow.
Kikau has been tasked to keep a strong eye on Fifita for the fourth time in his NRL career as the Panthers look to keep their undefeated winning streak alive against a struggling Titans outfit.
"I watch a lot of games to see how they play and he does incredible things on the field," Kikau told NRL.com.
"When he plays well the Titans are hard to stop. He has shown that the last few years. Those sort of players you have to try and limit their impact on a game."
"It will be a good match up to test where I'm at. It's a short turnaround for us and our first trip to Queensland for the season."
Kikau said Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was pleased with the side's ability to 'suffocate' the Raiders in the entire second half last week.
"We executed what we wanted to do, especially the second half. It's what we've been lacking to start the season so the coach was really happy," he said.
"We're focused on just closing out games, especially when you're winning. You see some teams lead and then slack off."
"It might be OK now but later in the season it could be the difference, it's very hard to change momentum if a team comes back late."
"We put our foot on the throat there and wanted to maintain that and suffocate them which was what we did."
Kikau also praised fellow teammate Stephen Crichton, who crossed for his first career hat-trick last week and right in front of the eyes of NSW coach Brad Fittler, who was doing side-line commentary.
The Panthers will take on the Titans at 8pm.
By Romeka Romena