‘Akuila is one of the most exciting players in the game. He is eager to make his mark at Manly’.
That’s how Coach Trent Barrett described the signing of Akuila Uate on a two-year contract last October.
Some questioned the decision to sign the then 28-year-old winger but Barrett, along with Manly Head of Football, Bob Fulton, knew the quality they were getting in Uate, and the fresh chance he needed.
In just under 11 months, Uate has gone from playing NSW Cup for Newcastle to reminding fans why he is one of the best, and most electrifying, wingers in the NRL
The former Newcastle Knights, NSW and Australian winger has scored 14 tries in 23 matches for the Sea Eagles to win over the Manly faithful.
He has made 16 line breaks and also formed a lethal right side partnership with centre Dylan Walker.
This Saturday night against Penrith at Allianz Stadium, Uate plays his first finals match since 2013. His record in finals games is impressive, scoring four tries in three matches.
“It is amazing. It is the best feeling to be in the finals,’’ Uate said.
“We can take the confidence from last week’s win over Penrith. They will try and come over the top of us but we will step it up twice as hard. I am thankful for Baz (Barrett) and the coaching staff here. They have helped me to find my feet again and getting my confidence back up. I’m so looking forward to the finals.”