SPORTS

Waqa Unstoppable: Costin Tells

Blake starred for Eels as they came behind from a 10-0 deficit to upset Penrith Panthers 16-10 on Friday night.
14 Jun 2020 10:39
Waqa Unstoppable: Costin Tells
Parramatta Eels centre Waqa Blake shows his joy for scoring the first try against Penrith Panthers at the Central Coast Stadium in New South Wales on June 12, 2020. Eels won 16-10 to remain unbeaten in the NRL. Photo: NRL.ccm

Vodafone Fijian Bati coach Brandon Costin believes teams will find it hard to stop Parramatta Eels centre Waqa Blake.

Blake starred for Eels as they came behind from a 10-0 deficit to upset Penrith Panthers 16-10 on Friday night. The Fijian opened Eels account with a superb try in the second spell and set-up the next two tries. His strong tackles kept fellow Bati team-mates Viliame Kikau at bay and he also read well the attacking moves of hooker Api Koroisau.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday Costin said Blake is an exciting player. The 25-year-old has played over 100 NRL matches.

“Waqa is a very entertaining player and having him will be great for the Bati.

“All games are tough but playing in good teams and everyone wants to defeat you, it’s a challenge every week.

“Players like Waqa seems to be thriving in this environment. He is looking dangerous every time he touches the ball.”

Costin said he loves the fact that many of the Bati players are playing well in the NRL. He indicated that Koroisau added another new dimension in Penrith’s attack.

Blake told Fox League that the win was something special as he made five tackle busts and two line breaks.

“It’s something massive for me, Reg and Michael coming through the ranks there,” he said.

“I’ve got a lot of best mates there but on the field we’re enemies so it’s good to get that win.”

It was Blake’s try in the 62nd minute that sparked Parramatta’s fightback.

Just minutes later he sent Clint Gutherson over but he admitted he almost wasn’t going to make the crucial pass.

“He was screaming, he always pops up no matter what, whenever we make a break Gutho’s going to be there. I was going to hold it but the game was on the line so I had to risk it.”

Panthers deputy chairman Greg Alexander was impressed with Blake’s performance, labelling it his best since joining the rival club.

“It was Waqa’s ability just to beat Stephen Crichton on the inside defence and the pass he sent through to Gutherson, that was magic. He’s going down and somehow is able to get the ball to Gutherson,” he said.

“That’s as good as Waqa’s played in a Parramatta jumper. Good on him for saving the best for Penrith.”

Eels winger Maika Sivo had a quiet night as he was heavily marked throughout the match.

“Sivo is the most dangerous winger and the NRL and he had to be marked very closely,” Costin added.

Blake, Sivo, Kikau and Koroisau are sure starters for the Bati at next year’s World Cup.

Other results: Sea Eagles 20-18 Broncos, Warriors 37-26 Cowboys.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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