Warriors 5th Grader
- Mar 30, 2012
- Reaction score
View the Post on the BlogGlen Fisiiahi is set to return to first grade for the NZ Warriors this weekend, as Kevin Locke has been unable to shake off his injury to make the trip across to Australia for tomorrow's clash against the Sydney City Roosters.
Source: NZ Warriors
Vodafone Warriors fullback Glen Fisiiahi is set for a return to the NRL in Saturday night's clash against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
He flew out to Sydney with the team on Friday afternoon while Kiwi international Kevin Locke, the first-choice fullback so far this season, stayed home.
Locke has spent the week trying to recover from a cork above his right knee but was eventually ruled out.
It paves the way for the 21-year-old Fisiiahi to make his fifth first-grade appearance, his first since the mid-season loss to North Queensland in Townsville last year.
The fleet-footed fullback has been in prolific try-scoring form for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup so far this season, scoring 10 tries in four matches and nine in his last two outings - six against Western Suburbs and three more against Manly last weekend.
His form attracted the interest of the Sydney Morning Herald this week, rugby league writer Brad Walter filing this story:
After crossing for more tries in two NSW Cup games than Sydney Roosters have all season, Glen Fisiiahi is in line to play fullback for the Warriors against the Tricolours on Saturday night.
If you think Billy Slater’s eight-try haul in the opening four premiership rounds is impressive, Fisiiahi has scored nine tries in the past two weeks – including six against Wests Magpies.
Remarkably, the 21-year-old also had three tries disallowed in that match and then backed up to score a hat-trick against Manly last Saturday.
With an injury cloud over star fullback Kevin Locke, Warriors coach Brian McClennan confirmed that Fisiiahi was on standby to play against the Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
"He is an amazing athlete," McClennan said.
"We watched him live on the weekend where he scored three tries and we watched a DVD of the week before when he scored six. He appears to be getting faster, which is scary. I would say he is the quickest in the club. If Kevin is out then the job is Glen’s without a doubt. He is definitely on standby this week."
Having signed with the Warriors until 2015, Fisiiahi is prepared to bide his time behind Locke or move to the wing if necessary. ‘‘ I prefer fullback but I would be happy to play any position if ‘Bluey’ [McClennan] calls me up,’’ Fisiiahi said. ‘‘ All I can do is just keep playing consistently and improving on my game and hopefully when an opportunity comes I will make the most of it.’’
Asked about his six tries against the Magpies, Fisiiahi said: ‘‘ I don’t know what to say, I couldn’t really believe it myself. I was thinking back to when I was a kid and I think the most I scored was about three. I was happy when I got to three and then when I got to four ... ’’
Described by Warriors officials as a great support player who seems to have a 'sixth sense' for being in the right position to score a try, Fisiiahi said the Auckland Vulcans forwards deserved credit for his feats.
"That is where I get all of my tries from – running off the forwards," he said.
"I am an opportunist and I just try to make the most of my chances when they pop up. When I score I usually turn around and give the forwards high-fives and thank them for hooking me up with the try. It is my way of giving back for the hard work they do."
McClennan said while he was happy with the way Locke was playing, Fisiiahi would come under consideration for an NRL call-up if he maintained his form.
"Kevin has been going pretty well defensively and attacking he is getting better at working within the structure we have got at the moment, but having said that there is a lot of pressure being put on by Glen," McClennan said.
"He has just got to get a whole string of games together consistently and he is doing that so he is putting his hand up. That is what we want and his chance is going to come pretty soon I would think."