Why Lolohea is so excited to return to Mount Smart Stadium



  • Why Lolohea is so excited to return to Mount Smart Stadium
    Dan Talintyre Timestamp Wed 4 Apr 2018, 03:17 PM

    For the first time since moving across the Tasman, Wests Tigers fullback Tuimoala Lolohea will return to where his career began: Mount Smart Stadium.

    On the surface, it’s no different for Lolohea than the number of other ex-Warriors who will run out for Wests Tigers this Saturday. Ben Matulino will play his first game at the venue not in Warriors colours; Russell Packer his second; Elijah Taylor his third.

    Even Coach Ivan Cleary is preparing for just his fourth trip back to his old stomping ground as coach.

    For Lolohea, however, there’s just a little bit extra when it comes to Mount Smart Stadium and it all comes down to his somewhat bizarre try-scoring record.

    Wind it back to 2015.

    Having come through the junior grades at the Warriors and cracking the first-grade squad late in 2014, Lolohea earned his starting spot the following year and soon began to show the talent that had so many excited to see him in the NRL.

    In Round 3 against the Eels, he scored his first try — at Mount Smart.

    His second NRL try came against the Wests Tigers at Mount Smart in Round 6

    His third came against the Knights in Round 12.

    You guessed it: at Mount Smart.

    His fourth came against the Roosters in Round 14. Mount Smart again.

    On and on it went.

    Through 25 rounds of the 2015 season, Lolohea had scored nine tries.

    None in Australia. None outside of Auckland. All of them at Mount Smart Stadium.

    In 2016, the record continued — only once did Lolohea scored away from home.

    When Lolohea joined Wests Tigers midway through the 2017 season, his try-scoring record was strong: 17 tries in 52 games played for the Warriors.

    And yet of those 52 games, only two of them saw him score away from Mount Smart.

    The record is so incredible that even when he returned to the ground during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup for Tonga, he scored.

    Of course he scored. It’s Mount Smart, after all.

    So while there’s certainly plenty of excitement for all the ex-Warriors and Kiwis to return to Mount Smart, it’s easy to see why Lolohea is particularly up for the trip back to where his try-scoring exploits began.

    “It’s going to be cool to go home,” Lolohea said of his return back to Auckland this week.

    "It’ll be great to have my family come up and support me live. I always love it when they get behind me and having my best mates there… hopefully I can get a bit of energy off having them there.

    "Ivan joked about it yesterday that we’re heading back home with all the Kiwis in our team.

    "But it’ll be cool to be back there; I think it’ll be a sellout.

    "There’s no better feeling to start the year than coming up against the premiers.

    “It’s going to be a good occasion playing the doubleheader in New Zealand.”



  • Hope he gets 2 or 3 onsaturday@mt.smart/saturday@mt.smart



  • worth a few dollars on 1st try scorer.



  • Don’t care about the meat pies, I just hope he has a blinder.



  • Gee didn’t expect him back last week by didn’t he play his part. Should be primed for a big one.



  • Expecting some big games from our Kiwi bro’s



  • It’d be great to see Tui score a double or more at Mt Smart.
    It would be even greater to see him pile on the tries at the other venues Wests Tigers will play at.



  • Tui Lolohea kicked winning conversion with a PCL tear

    CHRISTIAN NICOLUSSI, The Daily Telegraph
    April 6, 2018 8:00am

    IT IS not quite John Sattler-esque, but Tui Lolohea has revealed how he played the final ten minutes in round one with a grade two PCL tear in his right knee — the same leg that kicked the winning conversion from the sideline against the Sydney Roosters.

    Lolohea’s effort was another example of how the Wests Tigers are prepared to play through pain for each other this season.
    The 23-year-old fullback, who returns to Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, his old stomping ground with the New Zealand Warriors — and scene of the World Cup heartbreak after Tonga’s semi-final loss — was delighted his knee survived his Easter Monday return.

    “I did it during the (Roosters) game, but I didn’t feel it because the adrenaline was pumping,’’ Lolohea said.
    “There were about 10 minutes to go. I was getting sprayed by the trainer who was telling me to ‘get up’.
    “I didn’t feel it until I cooled down.
    “I was pretty gutted I missed the next two weeks of footy, and it always sucks (when you’re sidelined) at the start of the year because you do all this work over the pre-season.
    “I’m just glad I got through the game on Monday.’’

    Lolohea arrived at the Tigers midway through last season and was the first to admit his confidence was shot after being dumped to the Warriors’ reserve grade team and plonked on the wing.
    After James Tedesco announced his mega deal with the Sydney Roosters, Tigers coach Ivan Cleary told Lolohea he would be given first shot at the No. 1 jersey in 2018.

    Lolohea impressed in the opening round, Corey Thompson was just as awesome at fullback in rounds two and three before Lolohea reclaimed his preferred position.

    Like Tonga, Lolohea wants to build some good memories in clubland, and has plenty of reasons to believe the Tigers can do just that.

    “(Saturday) will be a different occasion there, but it will be an awesome weekend,’’ Lolohea said.
    “I still think about the Cup.

    “I’ve seen videos on Facebook still appearing, the crowd. It’s cool. I really enjoy thinking back to the support we had. We’ve had a lot of support for the Tigers games as well.

    “It will be good if we can get another over Melbourne. Melbourne will want one back on us. I’m gutted I didn’t get to play them last time, (Billy) Slater is one of the best fullbacks, and it’s always good to play against someone who is the benchmark (in your position).’’

    Lolohea has enjoyed the extra responsibility of goalkicking, and has regularly praised Tigers assistant coach and former sharpshooter Brett Hodgson for his input.

    The Tigers are chasing their fourth win in five games, and are understood to have been paid around $350,000 to take their home game against the premiers across the ditch.



  • @:

    Tui Lolohea kicked winning conversion with a PCL tear

    CHRISTIAN NICOLUSSI, The Daily Telegraph
    April 6, 2018 8:00am

    IT IS not quite John Sattler-esque, but Tui Lolohea has revealed how he played the final ten minutes in round one with a grade two PCL tear in his right knee — the same leg that kicked the winning conversion from the sideline against the Sydney Roosters.

    Lolohea’s effort was another example of how the Wests Tigers are prepared to play through pain for each other this season.
    The 23-year-old fullback, who returns to Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, his old stomping ground with the New Zealand Warriors — and scene of the World Cup heartbreak after Tonga’s semi-final loss — was delighted his knee survived his Easter Monday return.

    “I did it during the (Roosters) game, but I didn’t feel it because the adrenaline was pumping,’’ Lolohea said.
    “There were about 10 minutes to go. I was getting sprayed by the trainer who was telling me to ‘get up’.
    “I didn’t feel it until I cooled down.
    “I was pretty gutted I missed the next two weeks of footy, and it always sucks (when you’re sidelined) at the start of the year because you do all this work over the pre-season.
    “I’m just glad I got through the game on Monday.’’

    Lolohea arrived at the Tigers midway through last season and was the first to admit his confidence was shot after being dumped to the Warriors’ reserve grade team and plonked on the wing.
    After James Tedesco announced his mega deal with the Sydney Roosters, Tigers coach Ivan Cleary told Lolohea he would be given first shot at the No. 1 jersey in 2018.

    Lolohea impressed in the opening round, Corey Thompson was just as awesome at fullback in rounds two and three before Lolohea reclaimed his preferred position.

    Like Tonga, Lolohea wants to build some good memories in clubland, and has plenty of reasons to believe the Tigers can do just that.

    “(Saturday) will be a different occasion there, but it will be an awesome weekend,’’ Lolohea said.
    “I still think about the Cup.

    “I’ve seen videos on Facebook still appearing, the crowd. It’s cool. I really enjoy thinking back to the support we had. We’ve had a lot of support for the Tigers games as well.

    “It will be good if we can get another over Melbourne. Melbourne will want one back on us. I’m gutted I didn’t get to play them last time, (Billy) Slater is one of the best fullbacks, and it’s always good to play against someone who is the benchmark (in your position).’’

    Lolohea has enjoyed the extra responsibility of goalkicking, and has regularly praised Tigers assistant coach and former sharpshooter Brett Hodgson for his input.

    The Tigers are chasing their fourth win in five games, and are understood to have been paid around $350,000 to take their home game against the premiers across the ditch.

    Gladstone paid a million …… (seriously )

    Are you reading Justin 🙏



  • This game should be being played at Leichhardt. The $350k will come in handy no doubt but a sellout crowd at the Ol’ Girl baying for Storm blood to be spilt would have come in handier.
    The Kiwi crowd love the maggots from the south, there is no advantage for us as far as that is concerned.



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