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Raw diamond Koroibete a gem for NRL Tigers
Ian McCullough
22:02 AEST Mon Aug 6 2012

From a tiny village in Fiji to scoring four tries for Wests Tigers in his second game, Marika Koroibete is enjoying a dream start to his NRL career.

Hailing from Navaiyawa on Fiji's largest island Viti Levu, the 20-year-old produced one the hits of the season on Parramatta's Chris Sandow before running home four tries in the last half hour to seal a 51-26 win for the Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium.

"It was a fantastic experience. I scored four tries. I couldn't dream of it happening in my second game. I just have fun playing," said the painfully shy Koroibete, via a Tigers official after the game.

Coach Tim Sheens said he was delighted with his performance, but said the young flyer had a great deal to learn.

"He's got a lot of speed and a lot of ability, but he's a long way from being a first-grade winger just yet," Sheens said.

"He's got lots of issues still but he's got raw pace and ability.

"I think if Lote Tuqiri was available, he might still be playing 20s.

"There's a whole heap of guys that will say they started their first grade careers because of an injury to someone else. Now that he's in, he's going to be hard to put out."

Recruitment manager Warren McDonnell said Koroibete's talent was instantly recognisable and he had clocked 10.9secs running the 100 metres in his homeland.

"He's got pace but he is raw as raw. You can't get to his village by car, he's from up in the hills in Fiji," McDonnell said.

"He's just a good kid, he has good speed, he has no fear and he is willing to learn.

"Lote Tuqiri was one of the first ones who spoke to him, when he came.

"He's from a village nearby and has been a good mentor for him.

"It was always going to take time and we thought he would play next year."


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