Api Koroisau impressed by Robbie Farah as the Wests Tigers’ rebuild begins

Api Koroisau has highlighted how impressed he has been at training with the input from Wests Tigers’ assistant coach Robbie Farah, believing there is still plenty for him to learn about the intricacies around the dummy-half role from the club legend. 

“I think experience is invaluable and when someone like Robbie talks – he’s done it all – you just have to listen and take it on board,” Koroisau said.

Api Koroisau one of four big signings tasked with turning the Tigers around

The three-time premiership-winning hooker has built a reputation for manipulating markers with his subtle body movement out of the ruck and clever use of angles to generate opportunities in attack yet has been picking up some useful tips off Farah as pre-season kicks into overdrive. 

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“It was pretty cool actually, and Robbie gave me some great pointers,” Koroisau said. 

“They’re not afraid to pick me up on what I’m trying to get done for the team and what they need me to do. I think this is going to work really well.”

Koroisau is one of four players who have been tasked with helping to rebuild the club after their previous campaign resulted in Michael Maguire being sacked and interim coach Brett Kimmorley presiding over five straight losses to finish the season as the joint venture collected their first ever wooden spoon. 

He has been joined by Isaiah Papali’i, David Klemmer and John Bateman at Concord with the Tigers focusing on improving their forward stocks.

Koroisau’s ability to control the speed of the ruck will be vital in helping to get the team on a roll through their sets which is something they particularly struggled with last season.

In fact, their inability to make yardage – only the New Zealand Warriors ranked lower for total metres made per game – continually came back to bite them in their 20 losses during 2022. 

They’ve sought to rectify this weakness with the addition of their big-name signings who provide mongrel, metres and smarts through the middle.

Papali’i finished in the top 10 for total metres made, while Klemmer’s appetite to chew through yardage was impressive despite the former New South Wales and Australia representative enduring a difficult year at the struggling Knights.

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Meanwhile, the arrival of the feisty former Raider puts a cherry on top of an impressive recent recruitment drive.

Bateman adds a genuine x-factor in attack for a side which was the lowest scoring in the league last year. 

The Englishman is a master at making use of every little advantage garnered with a stiff fend on a retreating defender or a scurry through the line becoming his trademark throughout his first spell in the NRL.

Koroisau calls for patience as rebuild at the Tigers begins

After over a decade without experiencing finals footy, the four signings have lifted the mood around the camp and has fans harbouring hopes of a fabled top eight finish.

The players they have tied to long-term deals have undoubtedly been of a different calibre to the ones when the club last opened their cheque book and plumped for the waning powers of Josh Reynolds, Russell Packer and Ben Matulino.

Expectations are suddenly sky-high as a result of this spending spree, yet Koroisau urged patience.

“We all want to win a premiership but the most important thing right now for us is getting the fundamentals right,” he said.

“We’ve got to get the most out of the next five weeks, make sure we have a good pre-season and when the trials come around, we look like a footy team.”

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Despite struggling with the decision to leave Penrith, where he won back-to-back titles, Koroisau pointed out how ultimately his close ties to the Tigers proved to be one of the deciding factors in his move. 

“This was my club when I was growing up,” he revealed.

“I’m really excited to be here and to be a part of something special with the rebuild.”

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