Wakefield Wildcats: Enforced break can benefit new man Siejka

Harry Siejka
Harry Siejka
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The red tape which trapped Harry Siejka in Australia for four frustrating months may not actually have been a bad thing, says Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ newest recruit.

The red tape which trapped Harry Siejka in Australia for four frustrating months may not actually have been a bad thing, says Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ newest recruit.

The 22-year-old half-back signed for Wildcats early in pre-season but was initially refused a visa due to his limited number of appearances in Australia’s top competition, the NRL.

Wildcats made several appeals against the ruling and Siejka was eventually cleared to join the club but only after missing all of pre-season and their first four games in First Utility Super League.

Siejka, who finally arrived in England at the start of last week, admitted the delay had been frustrating but said it could prove a plus in the long-run as it allowed him extra time to recover from serious injury.

The ex-Penrith Panthers, New Zealand Warriors and St George-Illawarra pivot underwent a knee reconstruction last year after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament.

“I signed for Wakefield at the end of October, start of November,” he recalled. “I was hoping to get over for a month before Christmas but it didn’t work out that way.

“Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. I got to do my re-hab at home and see the doctor who did the surgery and it has been about nine months since I did it and you normally get six, so I’ve had a bit longer to recover.

“It has really got me itching to play. I haven’t had a break this long before since I started playing, so I am really keen to get out there and play.”

Siejka is confident he is now fully over the injury and he continued: “I had a couple of niggling injuries around the knee and the surgery has strengthened it up.

“Every muscle around it is working again, so it has been a good thing.”

The Aussie was named in Wildcats’ initial 19-man squad for last Saturday’s game at London Broncos and though he did not make the match-day 17, he said the experience of travelling to the game with his new team-mates will stand him in good stead. “I have been here just over a week and the weather’s been good and training has been good,” reported Siejka, who is hoping to make his debut on Sunday at home to St Helens.

“I am taking a bit of time to get up to scratch, getting to know the boys and learning the plays, but so far, so good and I am really enjoying it.

“The last couple of games I have watched, everyone’s thrown their hand up. That starts with the forward pack and Pita (Godinet) and Jaz (Jarrod Sammut) are playing off the back of that.

“They are playing tough and it is working for them. Two 50-point scores in the last two games is good going. They are a great bunch of boys and all the players and coaching staff have been fantastic. Everyone is happy with each other’s company and that’s showing in the results.”

Siejka admitted he has not seen a lot of Super League but he toured England with the Australian Schoolboys and knows what to expect from the players he will be coming up against.

“When I came over with the Schoolboys in 2010 were were all a lot smaller than the Pommie boys,” he said. “Everyone’s really big over here. I don’t know too much about Super League but I think compared to the NRL it is a lot more attacking and there’s less focus on the wrestle and play-the-ball.

“I think that will suit my game because I am an attacking type of player but I will take it as it comes.”

RFL director of rugby, Kevin Sinfield. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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