November 05, 2021
Fiji Bati hooker Apisai Koroisau has been alluded as a key player which the Penrith Panthers want to retain for the 2022 season.
Panthers’ legend and deputy chairman Greg Alexander told Foxsports.com.au that Koroisau is a revelation for them after his signing in 2019, transforming the team from a 10th place outfit to Minor Premiers in 2020.
Kikau has also been an ever-present force on the Panthers’ left edge, this year combining with Burton and Dally M Winger of the Year Brian To’o.
Clubs are lurking to lure the superstar with a general shortage of top-quality number nines across the league.
Koroisau ranked in the top five hookers for possessions per game, runs per game, run metres per game and tackles per game.
The 28-year-old is quick out of dummy-half and is responsible for a lot of the Panthers’ organisation in attack and defence.
His vision and playmaking allowed Penrith’s star-studded forward pack to roll ahead and cause havoc across the 2021 season.
“The signing of Apisai was crucial to what the side has done over the last couple of years, we had some good young hookers; Wade Egan and Sione Katoa who were sharing the role before Api,” Alexander told foxsports.com.au.
“We thought that we might have needed someone who could really lock down that position and be a tough, good defender, smart with the ball at dummy-half and Api has proven to be just that”.
He was instrumental in taking his side forward in two of the most brutal games of the season, beating a red-hot Storm side and then edging out the Bunnies.
As it stands, Koroisau is unsigned for 2023 and is free to negotiate a deal while the West Tigers are running for his services in 2023.
The Panthers are keen to keep an integral part of their core, but a valuation of $700k might make it difficult to retain the NSW State of Origin player.
Alexander is confident that Koroisau will stay at the foot of the mountains for seasons to come.
“He was a great player at Manly and we were fortunate to get him and he has been a good signing."
“Api is very important to us and Api will be there next year, we just need to sort out whether we can extend,” Alexander said.
By Romeka Romena