Koroibete: It's a start but I've got a lot to learn

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Marika Koroibete showed glimpses of his Rugby potential in Bordeaux on Thursday night, but the flyer says he has a long way to go in the XV man game.

In his first game since his schoolboy days, Koroibete had a hand in the opening try of the match in the third minute, offloading to Ben Mowen who went over in the corner.

Another promising run in the second half showed off some of his speed, but his opportunities were few and far between as the Wallaby XV lacked possession and field position throughout the night.

It was a hostile debut for Koroibete in front of a 30,028 ravenous French fans but once he found his hands on the ball, the 24-year-old said his nerves began to settle.

“The crowd was loud, especially here in Bordeaux they love their Rugby,” he said.

“At the start I was a bit nervous but then I got my first touch and I felt a bit more comfortable.

“There's still more to learn.”

With little possession, particularly in a first half where the French Barbarians took hold, Koroibete and fellow winger Taqele Naiyaravoro had little chance to attack, with the former Storm flyer now keen to work his way into matches more.

“To be honest I've got a lot of things to learn but as long as I have had my first taste of international Rugby I have an opportunity to work more on my game more and more.” - Marika Koroibete 

“To be honest I've got a lot of things to learn but as long as I have had my first taste of international Rugby I have an opportunity to work more on my game more and more,” he said.

“I just had to work a bit harder, position myself, get the ball in my hands and make more contributions to the team.”

“Especially that first half, we were defending for 20 minutes.

“They were down our end for that long, it was a bit hard. But we got some opportunities and should've taken them - but we didn't.”

Wallaby XV backs coach and Koroibete’s Rebels attack coach Morgan Turinui said Koroibete looked right at home.

“He didn't look out of place there and that's probably a step below a Test match,” Turinui said.

“There's a few decent players on the wing for the Wallabies at the moment but the great thing there is we have quality players pressing for positions, and Marika with a Super Rugby season under his belt I'll be expecting him to be pushing them pretty hard.

“He made some really good defensive efforts off the ball to cover and also a good kick chase off one of the kick offs. He put some really good tackles on and the boys got a really good kick out of it." -Morgan Turinui 

"I was able to watch him off the ball a lot and I was really impressed with his work rate off the ball. Something moving forward for both Australian and Melbourne teams will be to find ways to get him in the game and make it easier.

“He made some really good defensive efforts off the ball to cover and also a good kick chase off one of the kick offs. He put some really good tackles on and the boys got a really good kick out of it, lifted the energy of the whole team.”

The Wallaby XV will disperse on Friday, with some players heading back to Dublin ahead of Saturday’s Wallabies Test.

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