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NZ Warriors Players item created by Hitman82, Feb 28, 2014
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I really like this kid. Heaps of potential hopefully gets to play a bit of first grade this year some time.
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Kata THE NEXT BEAST
Written by TONY ADAMS, July 12, 2015
IN New Zealand they’re already calling him ‘The Beast 2.0’ – and Solomone Kata is showing the hallmarks of terrorising defences the way Warriors legend Manu Vatuvei has for the past decade.
Even though the 20-year-old barely speaks English and has been playing league for only two full seasons, the burly Kata has quickly become a cult figure with the Kiwi crowds.
“He’s got a long way to go, but there are similarities with Manu, for sure,” Warriorslegend Stacey Jones says.
“He’s a real handful and knows his way to the tryline.
“He’s come a long way in a short time and he’s not afraid of anything.
“We’re excited about him – he’s something special.
“He has a low centre of gravity, takes a power of stopping and can pass the ball. With all his skills, we weren’t sure where to play him – we thought about halfback or hooker, but he’s a natural centre and has been great there.
“And it hasn’t come easy – his English is very limited and he has had to move from the village to the big city and learn a new game.
“But he just takes it all in his stride. Nothing seems to worry him.”
Kata was born and raised in Tonga with 11 siblings before moving to Auckland on a scholarship at Sacred Heart College to play rugby union.
The Warriors quickly saw his potential and he switched to league in 2013, starring in last year’s NYC grand final with a first-half hat-trick that earned him the Jack Gibson Medal as man of the match.
Raw and unheralded, Kata announced himself in the Auckland Nines and has hit the NRL like a breath of fresh air.
“No way did I expect him to be a regular first-grader even a few months ago,”Warriors coach Andrew McFadden admits.
“But we had a few injuries, there was an opportunity there and he seized upon it.
“He’s got better every week, which for a 20-year-old with limited experience is a big plus.
“He’s full of confidence and has been a great find for us – and the exciting thing is he should only get better.”
The Warriors showed their high regard for Kata recently when they upgraded and extended his contract and are doing their best to assure the youngster assimilates with team-mates in his new environment.
“He’s fortunate that there’s a strong Tongan culture within the club,” Jones explains.
“The more experienced guys like Manu have really taken him under their wings.
“In the back line alone, Tuimoala Lolohea, Manu and Konrad Hurrell also come from a Tongan background and they have helped make him feel at home.
“The NRL can be a tough place for a kid with his background, but he has embraced it and is just enjoying himself.
“The other guys all like playing with him and that’s always a good sign.”
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11 tries from 14 games with a strike rate of 0.78...
Manu's strike rate over 10 seasons is 0.70...
So Kata's gotten off to an impressive start in his 10 year career at the Warriors...
and he seems to be able to defend quite well which is the bigger plus for me given his age and level of development
He's one of the new wave of warriors rookies who can defend and attack...
That for me was always the stumbling block between converting u20s success into NRL success... But with guys like Kata coming through that seems to be a thing of the past....
I HATE when the media always labels our new backs "the next Beast". It's lazy reporting, he is nothing like Manu. I'm pretty sure they called Maumalo the same, and Bill Tupou the best example. They called him the mini beast or something for his first season, even though he had 0 impact and the opposite player of Manu.
"Maumalo, who has been labelled the 'Junior Beast' added to his tally early in the second half, finishing off a strong Warriors' set of six in the match by forcing his way over in the corner."
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It's up there with "the big Warriors forwards". Even the Cutters coach said it about our reserve grade side on the weekend, even though we had Rapira, Lisone and Roache in our front row FFS!
Kata is looking fantastic, would have to say alot more settled than Hurrell even after his 3 years in first grade...
I think Kata could do with a week or two in NSW Cup.
Nothing to do with form but he definitely looks a little fatigued. Not many players adjust to the intensity of NRL in their first year.
SJ, Lolo, Vete, Lisone have all spent time in Reserve Grade in their first year.
I agree 10000%
I hate that shit too. Why does every back have to be labelled as some sort of 'beast'? And who in NZ is calling him Beast 2.0. Noone I fucking know.
That's not the worst idea, the only thing I'd say is, the backline has been chopped and changed all year long, usually as a result of injury. Kata has been one of the few guys to have been a constant presence in the same position, so shuffling it around again might be asking for trouble? Not sure, but I've been impressed by the way he's altered his game and is clearly responding to what is being taught.
he was concussed early in the game aye...Id reckon that what the drop in intensity yesterday was about, not necessarily being fatigued. He's looked alright the previous weeks
Kata, Lolohea. Fusitua. Gubb, the twin baby Props.....all these guys development defensively has been the best thing about the club this year.
Weigh up Kata's selection versus the only real disappointment
(Havili) in the new breed and you can see why McFadden has been reticent to use Havili.
These boys are putting serious pressure on Hurrell which is good, they are young enough and there are enough of them to have a positive influence on the older players (some folk like Matulino were looking Jaded /burnt out last year).
All good signs for the culture of the club we keep banging on about......the whole team have this enthusiasm and drive this year.....just hold the ball boys.
How good is it for Kata playing along side Hoffman and Manu... I couldn't imagine a better situation for him really... So if he seems a little bit off ATM that might explain it... Hard for a rookie to establish new combos and be the leader of his edge all of a sudden...
So I'm giving him another pass for his effort on the Weekend...
I don't believe in resting him for the sake of it. He doesn't look fatigued to me. What sticks out to me is that the right side has been getting more ball lately. Therefore he hasn't seen much pill.
I was a doubter. But his ability to learn has been impressive. I thought his size would find him out. But the club obviously have found a winning formula. I also feared the worst with some of the staff changes. But the chemistry seems to be right.
Thompson, Fusitua, SJ, Lolo look menacing on the right side. Add Hurrell to that (by putting Lolohea at 6) and we're unstoppable.
Ever since 2003 finals when we blew away Canterbury the myth has stuck. That year we had Ali, Awen, Faumuina in the back row. We were the globetrotters that year. The Aussies made a big thing about Polynesian hand size lol. It was typical Aussie ignorance.
Too much arm grabbing attempts today
mainly do to Ferguson's pace and footwork and getting the frontfoot ball from his forwards and half. He will do that to plenty of opposition centres. I thought Kata for the most part did well and didn't drop his head at all, kept at it. Still our best centre option at the moment IMO
Kata could've had a jarred croker game and let Fergusson destroy him all game but to his credit he came back aggressively.
i think a guy like fergo you have to confront and show him from the start he wont have his way. when Kata put his head up and started to put in some good tackles and put in abit of niggle at the play the ball it helps take a mental shot at fergo.
Good to hear he started competing, I turned off 5 mins into the 2nd half and at that stage Kata wasnt able to tackle Ferguson. Ferguson looked to big and strong for Kata and the Roosters were exploiting that mismatch.
The Warriors need pace and size in the centres, I thought Fusitua may be that guy but hes too Green, against quality centres they make him look out of his depth. Warriors need centres who can defend if they want to compete with the best teams in the comp