With seven tries in his past three games, Wests Tigers winger Marika Koroibete has praised the help of his teammates and a determined mindset for his blistering form in 2014 as he seeks to secure a spot back in the Club’s first-grade team.
The Fijian international took his try-scoring tally for 2014 into double figures on Saturday night with another breathtaking display of athleticism and speed in the Club’s 26-22 NSW Cup win over Newcastle, but said that his numbers were still secondary in his mind to the numbers produced by the team on the scoreboard.
“I’m just trying to play good footy,” said Koroibete. “That’s all.”
“I’ve been trying to score tries and make them team play well. I want to help the team, and if I do that, then I know that I will help the team get back into top form.
"We’re already in good form — and so I am I — but I want us to be the best.
“Always want to be better than we were last week.”
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Koroibete started the year in Wests Tigers’ NRL team, but with the strong form of both David Nofoaluma and Pat Richards, found himself in the Club’s NSW Cup team and back fighting for his place once more. Not that it worries Koroibete, however, who said that the competitive nature of holding a spot in first-grade continues to bring the best out of him.
“I’m trying to do my best regardless of what competition I’m playing in,” he said.
“The Head Coach [Mick Potter] has told me that I’ll need to play my best to get back into first-grade so I’m just trying to be the best on the field.”
And over the past few weeks, there’s certainly been none better than Koroibete.
In Round 9, the winger scored a second-half double to almost bring Wests Tigers back from a 26-8 deficit against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, and then followed that up with three tries against the Cronulla Sharks in Round 10.
All three were long-range efforts over 50m each, with the third involving a wonderful move that left Sharks fullback Nathan Gardner clutching at thin air.
Against the Knights last week, Koroibete produced a moment of magic right on half-time as he sped through three defenders, pushed away another and then fed the ball to Mitchell Moses close to the line to give Wests Tigers the lead at the main break. He then scored two tries himself from beyond halfway, with his fancy footwork and blistering acceleration putting an end to any chance that Newcastle had of producing a comeback on the day.
Koroibete puts his recent run of form down to strong combinations on the field and some extra determination to re-discover the speed that saw him tear apart the NRL with 12 tries in 15 games throughout 2013 and 2014.
“I’ve been working especially on my speed especially over the last few weeks now,” revealed Koroibete. “I’ve been doing some extra sessions over the past few weeks and it’s been helping me a lot find my speed once a again.
“I want to be better and faster, and keep getting my speed up.
“It’s helped that the boys have been using me well on the left wing.
“Curtis Sironen and Mitch Moses; they were good to me against Newcastle last weekend and got me in plenty of space, which was good.
“If they can get the space for me, then I can get the ball to the try-line.”
There’s certainly no doubting that over the past few weeks.