Why Penrith star Api Koroisau is still looking forward to joining Wests Tigers – صحيفة الصوت

The Tigers might be entombed in misery as the club hits rock bottom, but incoming recruit Api Koroisau has no apprehension about joining the embattled joint venture.

In fact, while Koroisau is still totally focused on finishing his time with Penrith with another premiership, he’ll relish the chance to start all over again. 

Koroisau shapes as the Tigers’ star recruit for 2023 and with the club reeling after a record 72-6 flogging by the Roosters he can’t arrive at Concord quickly enough.

“I’m looking forward to starting again, that there won’t be any expectation. It’ll all be about how hard can you go knowing nobody thinks you can be anything,” Koroisau said.

“You need that sometimes. You have internal motivations and driving factors, but when you have so many external ones that talk you down or are negative towards you, you can use your ego in that way.

“You can use your ego to pump it up, get it up quick. That’ll be a huge thing for us.”

While the club’s other major purchase for 2023, Parramatta backrower Isaiah Papali’i, has been dogged by rumours of backing out of his deal, Koroisau has repeatedly stuck solid to his future club after signing in November last year despite the Tigers’ struggles.

In an effort to make the most of his time left with the Panthers, Koroisau has also refused to be distracted by his impending move.

A man runs the ball during a rugby league match
Koroisau is still intent on honouring his deal with Wests Tigers. (Getty Images: Matt King)

“I haven’t thought about the future much. I’m trying to concentrate on being present,” Koroisau said.

“I haven’t worried about it much and I don’t think I will.”

The Tigers have a history of poor recruitment, but in Koroisau they’ll be getting one of the competition’s top hookers at the height of his powers.

The 29-year old is second among dummy halves for try assists with 13, which is not only a career high but more than double what he managed in his first two seasons with the Panthers combined.

Koroisau’s importance to Penrith’s hopes of going back to back have been apparent in recent weeks when the club has been playing without first-choice halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai.

The cunning rake was the best player on the field in last week’s late win over the Rabbitohs, creating a try for Liam Martin in the dying stages to steal a 26-22 victory that secured the minor premiership for the Panthers.

“We understood what we did wrong against Melbourne and we had a lot of things to fix up,” Koroisau said.

“After Jaeman (Salmon) ran the ball I was getting over to dummy half and tipped him (Martin) up on the way through.

“It wasn’t planned, but you can rely on guys like Liam Martin to run hard. It was only fourth tackle, so it wasn’t that much of a gamble.

“We’ve done a lot of training on that, to get that timing. He works really hard at his craft.”


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