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Waqa wants to improve

Nick Smart Of Herald Sun
Saturday, March 08, 2014

MELBOURNE Storm winger Sisa Waqa insists his best is still ahead of him after being charged to improve his fitness over the pre-season to complement his strength and size.

Waqa improved at such a rapid rate last year that it surprised even coach Craig Bellamy.

His growing stature in the game was reaffirmed this week when he was awarded the Petero Civoniceva Medal as the Australian Fijian Rugby League's player of the year.

But the powerfully built Fijian flyer refuses to be complacent and intends on finding another gear this season, starting with tomorrow night's clash with Manly.

"I was happy with my season (last year)," Waqa said.

"Now coming back this year, I know I needed to focus on my fitness and making sure I was looking after my body.

"Doing the little things right is what I've been focusing on this year to go one better.

"I feel fitter than last year."

Waqa was Melbourne's equal second tryscorer last season with 12 tries from 22 games in a career-best season.

But the 26-year-old premiership player is not looking back — determined to help Storm avenge its very average finish to last year's season.

"We've talked about that (the finals exit) a few times during the pre-season," he said.

"Especially at the end of last season when we had a meeting straight after that game.

"We know what we have to do and we didn't do well in both those finals.

"I think we just beat ourselves in those two games and that's something we talk about."

Waqa said there was no tougher first up assignment than facing Manly at Brookvale Oval.

"They are one team who we have a good rivalry with," he said.

"I think it will be a good test for us.

"A win would give us a good platform heading into the rest of the season."

The Melbourne winger made it clear he was fully fit for the season-opener after suffering a knee injury at the end of last season.

"I got back to training after Christmas and it has been tough as always," he said.

"My body feels all right now.

"I had that knee injury from the last game last year against Newcastle.

"But I pulled up all right from the World Cup and I feel better."

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