June 13, 2024

Despite all the recent signings made by Wests Tigers, Api Koroisau remains the linchpin in Benji Marshall’s effort to rebuild the joint-venture team. This sentiment is widely acknowledged within the Tigers organization.

Former Tigers player and current assistant coach Robbie Farah hails Koroisau as the top No.9 player in the game, emphasizing his exceptional skills. Head coach Benji Marshall also praises Koroisau for his deceptive play, highlighting his importance to the team.

In a recent match against Cronulla, Koroisau showcased his toughness by playing 66 minutes despite battling severe gastroenteritis. Marshall recounts how Koroisau played through adversity, demonstrating his commitment to the team.

Api Koroisau is sick during a break in play against the Sharks.

Koroisau’s resilience is well-known among fans of his former clubs, including Penrith, Manly, and South Sydney. He is revered for his ability to endure pain and make sacrifices for the team’s success.

However, Koroisau’s contributions go beyond his on-field performance. He plays a significant role behind the scenes in assisting Marshall’s efforts to revitalize the Tigers. Despite his quiet demeanor on the field, Koroisau’s influence and leadership off the field are invaluable to the team’s progress.

While Api Koroisau’s toughness and competitiveness are evident, it’s his intangible qualities that truly distinguish him on the field.

According to Benji Marshall, Koroisau possesses impeccable timing and instinctive decision-making, which cannot be taught. He excels at manipulating the defense, creating one-on-one situations for his teammates, and utilizing deception to outsmart opponents. Marshall emphasizes the importance of allowing players to play to their strengths rather than imposing a predefined style of play on them.

Former teammate Cam McInnes praises Koroisau’s skillfulness and intelligence, highlighting his ability to understand and execute game plans effectively. This was evident during their time together at South Sydney, where Koroisau’s intimate knowledge of the game plan earned him a starting spot in the 2014 grand final.

Michael Maguire, who coached Koroisau at Souths, recognized his leadership qualities and actively pursued his recruitment to the Tigers. Maguire believed that Koroisau could instill the high standards and professionalism that the Tigers lacked.

Despite initial skepticism from some fans, Koroisau has proven his commitment to the Tigers and has become an integral part of the team. However, Marshall acknowledges that Koroisau has sometimes felt the pressure to do too much since joining the club, a common challenge for established stars joining struggling teams.

Marshall advises Koroisau to focus on his own role and trust his teammates to do theirs, which ultimately leads to improved performance for the entire team. Marshall’s experience in similar situations has informed his guidance to Koroisau, encouraging him to prioritize his own responsibilities.

Api Koroisau addresses the troops during their round-one loss in Canberra.

Robbie Farah, another Tigers legend and current assistant coach, provides occasional feedback to Koroisau but recognizes his competence and understanding of the game. Farah encourages Koroisau to capitalize on his running ability, reminding him to take opportunities to attack the defensive line, which has resulted in increased support from his teammates on the field.

After delivering a standout performance last Saturday, Koroisau received a heartfelt send-off as he walked off the field, greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd.

This gesture mirrored the enthusiastic reception Luke Brooks received during his 200th game last year, a memorable occasion marked by a resounding 66-18 victory over the Cowboys. On that unforgettable night, the crowd erupted into chants of Brooks’ name, a rare tribute from a notoriously discerning audience.

As a recipient of such accolades himself, Farah understands the significance of these moments.

“The fans at Leichhardt are astute judges, and when they see a player giving their all for the jersey, they show their appreciation, just as they did for Api the other night,” Farah reflects. “While they haven’t started chanting Api’s name yet, I have no doubt they will in the future.”

Tigers captain Api Koroisau, coach Benji Marshall and his assistant John Morris.

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