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26 Apr 2018 2:37
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Koroisau's time to rake in NRL highlights

    Apisai Koroisau can follow in the footsteps of fellow NSW State of Origin hooking aspirants with a strong NRL showing against the Wests Tigers.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Brad Fittler
    Brad Fittler

    Over to you, Apisai Koroisau.

    Before round six of the NRL, the Manly hooker was considered the front runner for the NSW No.9 jersey.

    On Thursday night South Sydney's Damien Cook went and broke the Sydney Roosters' line open with such ease and regularity, he was suddenly the hottest ticket in town.

    Not to be outdone, Cameron McInnes had his say for St George Illawarra against Cronulla on Friday night with a 50-metre dash out of dummy-half to ram home his strong start to the year.

    State of Origin is still six weeks away but talk of selection never goes away.

    Koroisau will get his next chance to impress against the Wests Tigers on Sunday.

    "Of course it's a goal of mine to play Origin," Koroisau said last week.

    "But at the same time I'm not thinking about that when I'm out on the field there."

    Others will be thinking about it though, including NSW coach Brad Fittler.

    Koroisau, fullback Tom Trbojevic and his brother Jake, a NSW shoe-in, have formed part of a lethal running and slick passing combination through the middle at Manly this year.

    This has led to Koroisau leading all hookers for try involvements and line-break assists.

    "It's fun," he said.

    "I've seen a few teams where the hookers just pass off the deck and defend.

    "To play in a team like this where Trent Barrett allows you to play your kind of footy and everyone else jumps off the back of that is amazing.

    "He knows we have that ability to turn up for each other and play that ad-lib footy."

    Koroisau's development at Manly has been rapid since he left Penrith at the end of 2015, where he acted as a bit-part player in his one year there under Ivan Cleary.

    Koroisau could on Sunday pose the biggest threat to Cleary's defensive wall at the Tigers, given he's the catalyst of Manly's unstructured play through the middle third.

    But his former coach isn't surprised the 25-year-old's name is in the Origin discussion.

    "He played really well for us out there and has only gone on to bigger and better," Cleary said.

    "He's a real handful and a genuine opportunity for Origin this year.

    "He touches the ball more than anyone in their team, which means he's the most dangerous player effectively."

    STATS THAT MATTER

    * Koroisau has the most try involvements of all NRL hookers in 2018.

    * Wests Tigers haven't won at Brookvale since 2003.

    * Manly have won their past seven matches at their home ground.

    * Stats: Fox Sports Stats


    NZN




    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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