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Koroisau Gets Second Wind In Final

Koroisau Gets Second Wind In Final
October 07
11:14 2014

A sideline spell was enough to spark Apisai Koroisau to life as his second stint on the field helped sway the NRL grand final in South Sydney’s favour.

The Vodafone Fiji Bati dummy half struggled in the opening exchanges, with South Sydney rotating three players at dummy half as they searched to fill the void left by the suspended Issac Luke.

After 15 minutes Koroisau seemed out on his feet. It took a shove and forceful advice from trainer Kurt Wrigley to get Koroisau back at dummy half, having been out of position for the opening tackles of that set.

He seemed to find his rhythm once Wrigley gave him a timely wake-up call, playing his first NRL game since round 17.

Canterbury had its own woes with injured skipper Michael Ennis not taking his place on the Bulldogs’ bench as he was relegated to a mere spectator, missing just his second game in three years.

Moses Mbye started his first game in the NRL at hooker, having played his previous eight NRL games largely in the halves.

By half-time Mbye led the tackle count with 27 – already the most in his brief NRL career. He finished the match with a game-high 37.

Respective coaches Des Hasler and Michael Maguire opted against shielding Koroisau and Mbye from the opposition big men, leaving them to defend in the middle of the field.  And defensively they both held their own.

However, the Rabbitohs fared better with Koroisau at acting half. Koroisau benefited by playing off the back of a more dominant forward pack, and given more room than his dummy half counterpart.

His departure 33 minutes into the game saw five-eighth Luke Keary revert to dummy half, with John Sutton also spending one attacking set there.

Keary maintained his defensive spot three players in on the Rabbitohs left edge.

Keary and Mbye were involved in a brief melee, with Keary claiming his Canterbury opposite had headbutted him when the pair almost came to blows while the rest of the players waited for a Canterbury line dropout. The Bulldogs youngster performed a martial arts-like leg sweep on Keary to bring him to the ground.  Neither was penalised.

Koroisau’s return early in the second half helped inject some much-needed exuberance to the Rabbitoh attack. The Penrith-bound rake picked up an offload to cut through the Bulldogs defensive line and went close again, taking advantage of lazy Canterbury marker defence.

Feedback: sportsdesk@fijisun.com.fj

 

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