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Lote still needs to do lots more - Meninga
- By Christian Nicolussi
- From: The Sunday Telegraph
- March 28, 2010 12:01AM
LOTE Tuqiri did his Origin chances no harm with two tries on Friday night, but Queensland coach Mal Meninga wants the dual international to increase his work rate.
Meninga was impressed by Tuqiri’s SFS heroics for the Wests Tigers - most notably his acrobatic second-half touchdown on the sideline - but said the Maroons’ make-up was no closer to being finalised.
“Lote was good last night, and his second try off Robbie Farah’s kick was fantastic, he showed great awareness,” Meninga said.
"He’s proving he’s making the transition back to league (from rugby), but there are still a few areas I think he can improve on. I would like to see him get more involved. We’ve had a general chat about what my expectations are and he’s aware of that.
“He played well but so did Darius Boyd on Friday night (for the Dragons), and I thought (Cowboys) Johnathon Thurston and Willie Tonga were fantastic in a losing side.”
Tuqiri, who has now scored four tries in three NRL games, is aiming to become just the second player to switch back from rugby and re-enter the Origin arena.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens would love to see Tuqiri given the chance to help Queensland to a record fifth straight series win over NSW, and that was discussed during initial club negotiations.
“He set Origin as a goal and that was part of the reason we were interested in Lote in the first place,” Sheens said.
"He could have come back and said I want to do my best for my club, but he wanted to do his best for the Tigers and play rep footy.
"They need to strive for more than just coming back for a good club contract - players need to set their goals higher, and we’re pleased Lote has done that.
"He’s a class act and I don’t see any reason why he can’t return (for Queensland). The biggest issue is going to be not so much whether he can play Origin, but how much speed has he lost.
“I don’t think Big Del (Wendell Sailor) was as quick as he was when he returned but Lote, like many Fijians, they don’t mature until they’re 36. As well as size and athleticism, it’s not easy for a 104kg winger to take the ball and keep his body in the air and get the ball down (to score) and still have awareness.”
yeah right, like they arent going to pick him. and theres nothing wrong with his work rate whats he averaging 13 runs a game since hes been back
yeh Lote, i mean spotty, listen to Mal, get more involved, you need to stay in touch with the morris brothers for most tries. I’m sure you’ll be wearing a queensland jersey soon.
Good motivation for Lote to get more involved.
Honestly, as if they’d pick Boyd over Lote! Ha ha!
Go Lote…history in the making with the mighty Maroons…Be great to see him score the winning try that breaks millions of hearts …