Nofoaluma ready for runaway Radradra
Tue 22 Mar, 2016, 11:57am
Chief Queensland Correspondent, NRL.com
Less than an hour after full-time in Saturday’s 30-18 loss to the Titans on the Gold Coast, Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma was already looking forward to what next lay ahead of him.
I didn’t even have to bring it up.
It’s possibly the most difficult assignment a winger can be given right now but Nofoaluma remains undaunted, instead excited at the prospect of facing off against Parramatta’s Fijian freak Semi Radradra.
Sitting in eighth and ninth position respectively, the Tigers and Eels both have plenty of positives to draw from the first three weeks of the season and expecting a massive Easter Monday crowd to ANZ Stadium.
One of the highlights will be the match-up between Radradra and Nofoaluma who has started the season in similarly fine fashion for the Tigers.
With 10 tackle busts against the Titans alone last weekend the 22-year-old is officially the toughest player to tackle in the NRL through three rounds (23 tackle busts) and is looking forward to the individual challenge that comes in opposing Radradra (16 tackle busts).
The pair have only gone head-to-head once before in 2014 and while Radradra crossed the try-line it was Nofoaluma’s Tigers who claimed the two points in a 21-18 win in front of more than 50,000 fans in the corresponding Easter Monday clash two years ago.
“I remember playing against him [in 2014] and he’s obviously in good form,” Nofoaluma told NRL.com.
"He had a good game last week, he got a double and helped Parramatta get the win. He’s a tough opponent and it’s going to be a good challenge.
"He’s a good opponent. Obviously he’s tough, he’s been in good form and it’s a challenge for myself and if I can get the better of him that will help with myself getting confidence and also help the team.
"I’m looking forward to coming up against him actually.
“I’ll do my best to make sure he doesn’t make me look silly.”
After two wins to start the season the Tigers appeared destined to keep their unbeaten run alive when they jumped out to a 10-0 lead against the Titans.
But, as they had done in wins over the Warriors and Sea Eagles in the weeks prior, they allowed Gold Coast back into the contest and were unable to stem a flow of 30 unanswered points.
Wests have received plaudits for their enterprising brand of football to date but Nofoaluma says it is the most basic aspect of the game that will dictate how much flair he, James Tedesco, Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks will get to show against the Eels.
“It comes from completions and when we start completing we feel more comfortable,” Nofoaluma said.
"At the 20-minute mark everything was going well and it gives us backs a chance to play some footy and have a bit of fun I guess.
"It all comes down to completions. We couldn’t complete in the first half and that hurt us a lot.
“We know what we did wrong and we can’t dwell on it too much. We’ve got a big crowd to look forward to for next game and I’ll be going up against big Semi.”