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Post by willow » Mon 06 Aug, 2012 9:20 pm

Koroibete lights up Campbelltown

Monday 6 August 2012 8:55 PM
Koroibete lights up Campbelltown

Wests Tigers winger, Marika Koroibete set the Campbelltown crowd alight tonight after a dazzling performance saw the young Fijian score four tries in just his second NRL match.

The home side eventually ran out winners 51-26 but they had to do it the hard way after the visitors ran out to an early 22-6 lead.

Wests Tigers opened the scoring in the 4th minute when second-rower Adam Blair ran straight at Parramatta half-back Chris Sandow to score near the posts off a short pass from half-back Benji Marshall. Marshall converted the try for a 6-0 lead.

Parramatta hit back five minutes later when five-eighth Ben Roberts brushed past three defenders to score a try next to the posts. It was disappointing defence by Wests Tigers. Winger Luke Burt converted the try for a 6-all scoreline after 10 minutes.

The Eels went to a 10-6 lead two minutes later when winger Ken Sio picked up a spilt crossfield kick from hooker Robbie Farah from half-back Chris Sandow inside the Wests Tigers quarter. The try came after centre Ryan Morgan was tackled 10 metres out after five-eighth Ben Roberts bushed off Wests Tigers five-eighth Liam Fulton in a poor marker defence tackle on the previous play. Burt converted the try for a 12-6 lead.

The Eels went further ahead when full-back Jake Mullaney dived over out wide in the 15th minute after prop Fuifui Moimoi ran into a gap between Gareth Elis and Farah to race 40 metres downfield the previous tackle. A quick play the ball saw Roberts turn the ball inside for Mullaney who had too much pace for three cover defenders to score. Burt converted the try for an 18-6 lead.

Mullaney grabbed his second try in the 28th minute when he rapped around in behind a play with Roberts to then step inside an attempted tackle by full-back Tim Moltzen to score for a 22-6 lead. Burt missed the conversion attempt.

Wests Tigers got back to 22-10 when lock Chris Heighington brushed off centre Cheyse Blair to score next to the posts. Marshall converted the try to leave Wests Tigers trailing 22-12 after 32 minutes.

Five minutes before half-time, Marshall delivered a lovely cut out pass for winger Matt Utai to crash
through two defenders to slam the ball down in the corner. The try came after an intercept pass by forward Junior Moors. Marshall converted the try to leave Wests Tigers trailing 22-18 after 38 minutes.
Wests Tigers came close to scoring again inside the final minute before half-time but Fulton was tackled just short of the line around the ankles by Sandow.

2nd Half

The Eels started the second half off strongly when back-rower Taulima Tautai scored out wide after running through a gap between Blair and Beau Ryan to score out wide. Burt miss the conversion attempt to leave Parramatta leading 26-18 after 42 minutes.

Winger Marika Koroibete denied Parramatta a certain try to Sandow two minutes later when he regathered the ball from a chip kick only to be hit hard by Koroibete’s shoulder.

It proved to be a massive play for Wests Tigers as it came on the last tackle. From the next set, Farah gave a short ball to centre Blake Ayshford raced 35 metres down the right flank to send Utai over for his second try. Marshall failed to convert the try to leave Wests Tigers trailing 26-22 after 45 minutes.

Koroibete was then rewarded for his efforts when he scored a sensational try after slicing through four defenders in an angle run to score under the posts. It came after some entertaining play by Marshall and a great offload pass by Blair in the lead up to Koroibete’s try. Marshall converted to give Wests Tigers a 28-26 lead.

Koroibete scored his second try in the 55th minute when he ran onto a superb cut out pass by Marshall to score out wide. Marshall failed to convert the try to give Wests Tigers a 32-26 lead.

Wests Tigers took full advantage of a knock on by Nathan Hindmarsh when from the scrum win, Marshall ran acrossfield to slice through two defenders to link up with Moltzen who found opoen space 10 metres out to score for a 36-26 lead. Marshall converted the try for a 38-26 lead to Wests Tigers after 61 minutes.

Marshall extended Wests Tigers lead to 13 points when he landed a field goal from 20 metres out in front of the posts in the 62nd minute for a 39-26 lead.

Koroibete completed a perfect night when he finished off a break by Utai to race 35 metres to score his third try of the night for a 43-26 lead after 77 minutes. Marshall converted the try for a 45-26 scoreline to Wests Tigers.


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Post by willow » Mon 06 Aug, 2012 9:25 pm

The Wests Tigers thrash the Parramatta Eels 51-26

Josh Massoud
The Daily Telegraph
August 06, 2012 6:15PM



MARIKA Koroibete - an unknown Fijian teenager who used plastic bottles and second-hand clothes as a substitute football - kept Wests Tigers finals hopes alive last night, scoring four tries in a 77-point fiesta at Campbelltown Stadium.

The 19-year-old posted all his tries in the second half, which saw the Tigers recover from a concerning 22-18 deficit to blow Parramatta away 51-26 before 14,822 entertained fans.

The breezy victory moved Wests back into the top eight, but that was only small consolation for a defensively inept start that saw them trail 22-6 midway through the first half.

Still down 26-18 shortly after the break, Wests roared to life as Benji Marshall relished the open spaces to put his side out into the comfort zone with a quarter of the game still remaining.

Marshall set-up six of the Tigers' nine tries overall, and also booted a 73rd minute drop goal to guarantee Wests outright eighth spot with four rounds left.

But the jury is out over whether they will still be there come September, particularly given the embarrassing lack of resistance to Parramatta's early ambush.

Led by Ben Roberts, the carefree Eels scored four answered tries between the ninth and 27th minutes but dropped-off alarmingly as Wests responded with seven of the final eight tries.

WESTS TIGERS 51 (M Koroibete 4 M Utai 2 A Blair C Heighington T Moltzen tries B Marshall 7 goals B Marshall field goal) bt PARRAMATTA 26 (J Mullaney 2 B Roberts K Sio T Tautai tries L Burt 3 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Referee: Jared Maxwell, Tony De Las Heras. Crowd: 14,822.

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Post by willow » Tue 07 Aug, 2012 5:46 am

Raw diamond Koroibete a gem for NRL Tigers

Ian McCullough AAP Mon, Aug 06, 2012 - 10:01 PM

From a tiny village in Fiji to scoring four tries for Wests Tigers in his second game, Marika Koroibete is enjoying a dream start to his NRL career.

Hailing from Navaiyawa on Fiji's largest island Viti Levu, the 20-year-old produced one the hits of the season on Parramatta's Chris Sandow before running home four tries in the last half hour to seal a 51-26 win for the Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium.

"It was a fantastic experience. I scored four tries. I couldn't dream of it happening in my second game. I just have fun playing," said the painfully shy Koroibete, via a Tigers official after the game.

Coach Tim Sheens said he was delighted with his performance, but said the young flyer had a great deal to learn.

"He's got a lot of speed and a lot of ability, but he's a long way from being a first-grade winger just yet," Sheens said.

"He's got lots of issues still but he's got raw pace and ability.

"I think if Lote Tuqiri was available, he might still be playing 20s.

"There's a whole heap of guys that will say they started their first grade careers because of an injury to someone else. Now that he's in, he's going to be hard to put out."

Recruitment manager Warren McDonnell said Koroibete's talent was instantly recognisable and he had clocked 10.9secs running the 100 metres in his homeland.

"He's got pace but he is raw as raw. You can't get to his village by car, he's from up in the hills in Fiji," McDonnell said.

"He's just a good kid, he has good speed, he has no fear and he is willing to learn.

"Lote Tuqiri was one of the first ones who spoke to him, when he came.

"He's from a village nearby and has been a good mentor for him.

"It was always going to take time and we thought he would play next year."

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Post by willow » Tue 07 Aug, 2012 5:48 am

Koroibete's stunning effort wakes Tigers from their winter slumber
August 7, 2012
Michael Chammas


WESTS TIGERS defended like a Toyota Cup team but their attack ensured they are again a top-eight team after a 51-26 win against a spirited Parramatta.

The Tigers scored enough points to win two games, but coach Tim Sheens will be more concerned with the number in the missed tackles column, despite unearthing a superstar in Marika Koroibete.

Last night's win in Campbelltown, highlighted by the four-try feat by Koroibete, put the Tigers ahead of the logjam on the cusp of the top eight.

But if they defend like they did in the first half come September, it is going to be a very short finals campaign for the pre-season favourites.

The Tigers would have prepared all week for an attacking onslaught from the bottom-placed Eels, who have thrown caution to the wind in back-to-back wins against Melbourne and Brisbane.

But they failed to put those preparations into practice, opening up through the middle of the field to let the Eels run riot, missing 30 tackles in a dismal opening 50 minutes.

The class of Benji Marshall and the pace of the exciting rookie on the wing, Koroibete, saved the Tigers from an embarrassing defeat.

With their team trailing 26-22, Marshall combined with the Fijian flyer to send him in for the first two tries of his two-game career, but more importantly took the Tigers out to an unassailable lead.

The last time Parramatta and the Tigers went head-to-head, Eels fans left Parramatta Stadium cursing Ben Roberts.

Last night, the few thousand diehards that made the trek to Campbelltown were singing his praises after scoring the opening try and setting up the next two in a dynamite first half.

Parramatta came into the game beaming with confidence following their recent efforts against Melbourne and Brisbane, but it looked like the Tigers would bring them crashing back down to earth when they strolled in for the opening try of the night inside five minutes.

Rather than deflate the giant-killers, it triggered them into an attacking frenzy, piling on 22 points in 19 minutes to take their record against the Tigers to 52 points in their last 41 minutes against the joint venture.

Eels fullback Jake Mullaney, a product of Sydney's south-west, haunted his junior club in the first half, crossing for two tries in front of his family and friends.

Fuifui Moimoi wound back the clock, playing with the aggression and venom not seen since Parramatta's charge to the grand final in 2009.

Who said Parramatta couldn't score points without Jarryd Hayne?

In his absence, Roberts, Chris Sandow, Joseph Paulo and Reni Maitua took over the reins as providers, putting their teammates through holes at will.

Just as it looked like the Tigers were about to surrender to the Eels, back-to-back penalties put them back in the contest.

With a top-eight position up for grabs, the Tigers were never going to die wondering. Tries to Chris Heighington and Matt Utai just before half time reducing a 22-6 deficit to just four points at the break.

They conceded the first try of the second half, but that was a minor hiccup in an explosive second half for the home side.

The registered the half-century after the siren, with Marshall putting the icing on the cake with a conversion from the sideline.

They will fight to keep their top eight spot next Saturday when they take on St George Illawarra.

WESTS TIGERS 51 (M Koroibete 4 M Utai 2 A Blair C Heighington T Moltzen tries B Marshall 7 goals B Marshall field goal) bt PARRAMATTA 26 (J Mullaney 2 B Roberts K Sio T Tautai tries L Burt 3 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Referee: Jared Maxwell, Tony De Las Heras. Crowd: 14,822.

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Post by willow » Tue 07 Aug, 2012 5:50 am

Bolt from the blue: Fijian flash's four a club record
August 7, 2012
Michael Chammas


He could have been in London alongside Usain Bolt at the Olympics, but on the other side of the world in Campbelltown, Marika Koroibete was still creating headlines.

The Fijian flyer, a schoolboy sprinting champion, last night equalled Kevin McGuiness's Tigers club record of four tries in one game, crossing for the quartet in a blistering 30-minute period before full-time.

The 20-year-old, who was running under 11 seconds over 100 metres as a schoolboy, has come a long way since joining the Tigers in 2009 from his home town of Navaiyawa on the Fijian mountains.

He was spotted by the Tigers on a tour of Australia playing with the Fijian national under-19 side, and is now the quickest player at the club, staking his claim to make the Tigers No.5 jumper his own as his side regained a position in the top eight.

''He came out with the under-19 team from Fiji and played against a Combined State Cup side out at Wenty [Wentworthville],'' recruitment manager Warren McDonnell said. ''Our coach in the 20s coached Fiji and had a rap on the kid. We went to see him and he scored two tries against men … It was always going to take time, we thought he would play next year. He still has a lot to learn but he has things you can't teach, like strength and speed.''

Koroibete's meteoric rise could come at a price for his off-contract Fijian compatriot, Lote Tuqiri, who will miss the remainder of the year through injury.

The Tigers have high hopes for Koroibete, who has two years plus an option remaining on his contract. But coach Tim Sheens was refusing to talk up the rookie sensation following his incredible performance last night, insisting he still had plenty to work on.

''He's got a lot of speed and a lot of ability, but he's a long way from being a first-grade winger just yet,'' Sheens said. ''He's got lots of issues still but he's got raw pace and ability. On the end of a back line with a bit of ball and a bit of room, he's going to worry anyone.

''I think if Tuqiri was available, he might still be playing 20s, but it's funny when kids get a run, generally most players get a run when someone's injured.

''Robbie [Farah] had the same thing when I think Darren Senter was out. There's a whole heap of guys that will say they started their first-grade careers because of an injury to someone else.

''Now that he's in, he's going to be hard to put out.''

While Koroibete, who made his NRL debut against South Sydney two Sundays ago, was lethal with the ball, his biggest contribution of the night came in defence.

With the Eels leading 26-18 early in the second half, Chris Sandow regathered his own chip-and-chase, and could have put the game to bed if not for a crushing tackle by Koroibete.

Skipper Farah acknowledged the heavy impact but elaborated on the significance of Koroibete's try-saving tackle.

''It was an important [hit],'' Farah said. ''I think they were up by six at the time, and he came up with a try-saver there and kept us in the game. Then he came up with the points later to finish it off for us.

''He's got plenty of ability. If we're creating chances on the inside, we know he's going to finish them off. That's what he did tonight.''

The quietly spoken Koroibete said it was a night to remember. ''It was a fantastic experience - I scored four tries,'' he said. ''Unbelievable. I couldn't have even dreamed of it happening in my second game. I just have fun playing.''

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