Manly Warringah Sea Eagles hooker Apisai Koroisau is growing in confidence with every match.
The 24-year-old Fijian Test hooker has been in outstanding form this season and credits the fact that the team has been able to maintain the same spine in the crucial full-back, halves, and hooker positions as one of the reasons his game has gone to another level under Coach Trent Barrett.
That, and a desire, to be more consistent after a tough 2016 season in which he shifted between hooker and playing in the halves due to injuries to the team.
“I think it is the best I’ve played in the number nine position. I have been really happy with the way I have been going and hopefully I can continue to improve on my defence and game management,’’ Koroisau said today.
“My form has to do with the rest of the boys around me. Our front-rowers are playing really well, and Daly (Cherry-Evans) and Blake Green are playing a huge part in my game, leading us around. They let me do the easy things like running the ball when there is a quick play the ball, so I have to thank the boys for my form this year.
“Consistency is a huge factor in (my form). The spine being the same all year (has helped).We have had one injury there with ‘Turbo’ (Tom Trbojevic), but Matt Wright came in and did a great job. It has gone a long way to helping my game and keeping me confident in that the boys know the plays and know how to play with each other.
“(Last year), I was frustrated with myself. I lost that number nine spot at the start of the year. I was happy enough to come back and play at seven, but I think we had 12 different combinations in the spine, which is pretty big for a first grade team.
“Having the same spine makes a world of difference and we are playing like it.
“The confidence amongst the boys at training is huge and that rubs off on the field. The way we carry on with each other off the field is like a brotherhood now, so you can tell we are playing a lot more like that now on the field.”
Koroisau added the team was looking forward to playing the premiers, Cronulla Sharks, on their home turf this Sunday after having their second bye last weekend.
“We are feeling pretty good after two byes in four weeks, so we know we have a good run now going into the back end of the season and we have got to let that momentum takes us into the finals,’’ he added.
“The aim is to finish in the top four. Hopefully we can get the two points this week, and take it week by week.”