Ken Sio chases Salford league success while other half is up for the cup
KEN Sio and Victoria Kini are a household divided with the same aim, helping Salford towards silverware.
While men’s winger Sio hopes to boost a play-off challenge with a shock win over leaders St Helens, his other half will be part of the Red Devils’ women’s side’s bid for league cup glory in its first season.
Rugby league is largely avoided when the power couple are at home, although Sio does call Victoria ‘the Wayne Bennett of the household’ as she points things out.
But while each will be aware of how the other is getting on, there will be no crowing if the men win and ladies lose, or vice versa.
“We just try to lift each other’s spirits by saying, ‘There’s always next time,’” Sio, whose 21 tries took him joint top of the scoring list going into this weekend’s fixtures, revealed.
“But Victoria is the one passing on advice. She thinks she plays all positions in rugby league, she tries to be the Wayne Bennett of the household!
“It’s a huge weekend for the club and for this household too but we manage to keep our rugby and personal lives separate. We like to have our family time away from sport.
“From the men’s point of view, a top six spot is what we’ve been building towards but now we have it after having chased it, the mentality does not change.”
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Victoria is no stranger to rugby as she also plays rugby union for Eccles while holding down a part-time job as a concierge at a Manchester office block.
But the impact a women’s team has made at Salford cannot be understated in its first season.
The 30-year-old vice-captain, who faces Orrell St James at 3pm, said: “A top of the table match and a cup final in a first season. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.
“It’s crazy to think we only got together when we were formed in November. The biggest thing behind it, though, is the push from the club and this is my first serious season of playing rugby league.
“I’ve learned about the game a bit more and appreciate more what Ken does. It’s opened my eyes about understanding the pressures and that it’s not just about talent. People stay at a high level through hard work.
“I’ll take the kids with me as they’re big enough to just be on the sidelines and they’ll let me know how Ken is getting on.”
Despite keeping the two lives largely separate, rugby league does sometimes get brought up at home, largely by back rower Victoria.
She added: “We give each other the silent appreciation of what each other does at home but I sometimes try to coach him. Wayne Bennett, like he said.
“In defence, if someone comes through him, I’ll maybe say, ‘Don’t do that, that’s not what you do.’ If a few too many tries go in on his side, I’ll say, ‘It’s you, it’s definitely you.’
“There was on time he said, ‘You don’t know rugby league.’”
For laid back 31-year-old Sio, though, a double win would be just perfect as he added about Paul Rowley’s men: “Beating Saints would be a big message that we’re serious about this.”
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