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Solomone Kata

Discussion in 'New Zealand Warriors and NZRL' started by Fufu Andronez, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. Fufu Andronez

    Fufu Andronez First Grade

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    Kata's move to the right side confirmed as permanent

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/03/07/solomone-kata-confirms-shift-for-2019/

    The move of Solomone Kata to the right edge for the New Zealand Warriors' final trial match was more than a pre-season experiment, with the centre confirming it will be a permanent move for 2019.

    Having lined up at left centre in almost all of his 87 NRL Telstra Premiership appearances to date, in addition to earning Test honours for New Zealand in the position, Kata will switch to the right this year to team up with prolific winger and Mate Ma'a Tonga teammate David Fusitu'a.

    Speaking to NRL.com, Kata said a chance conversation with assistant coach Stacey Jones during the pre-season was the catalyst for the change.

    "We were doing [a drill] under fatigue and they put me on the right, everyone was jumping in [different positions]… Stacey said to me after training, 'you looked more comfortable on the right'," Kata said.

    "I went home and they asked me the next morning if I felt more comfortable on the right, and I said yes.

    "I already know I feel more comfortable on the right. I already know what I can do there and what I am capable of.

    "I feel comfortable on the right because when I step my left foot is stronger, and I can carry the ball with my right hand and use my left to fend.

    "I am looking forward to it and I am pretty sure I am ready for it."

    Warriors season preview - NRL Teams

    Having played predominantly on the right edge through his teenage years, it was an injury to frontline left centre Ngani Laumape which paved the way for Kata to nail down a spot on opposite side in his debut season at NRL level back in 2015.

    "Ngani Laumape was on the left, but then he got injured and was out for the season, so I had to fill the gap," Kata said.

    "It was my first year and I really wanted to play, so I stepped up there."

    Last year Kata appeared in 23 of the Warriors' 25 games, scoring 12 tries and averaging over 100 metres per game.

    It was enough to see him earn a fifth Test cap for Tonga, where he was among the island nation's try-scorers in their historic clash with the Kangaroos in Auckland last October.

    Jones, who coached Kata at under 20 level in 2014, said early signs pointed to a smooth transition to the right, adding that his versatility would be a major boost for the club's backline stocks.

    "He's looking good now and getting involved… he's got a real good connection with both our wingers and Roger [Tuivasa-Sheck]," Jones told NRL.com.

    "He's a player that brings a lot of energy. When he's talking more than most players on the field, we are generally going pretty good.

    "When you have got a bit of versatility there it's certainly going to help."
     
  2. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    WTF does more comfortable mean? Can he pass the ball that way? Surely that should have been discovered before now? #professionalism
     
  3. Mr Angry

    Mr Angry Not a Referee

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    Hey come on they had to try something.

    Only took three years, baby steps man.

    87 games in he either becomes a quality player or you bight the bullet and let him go.
     
  4. morningstar

    morningstar Juniors

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    Haha how can they do a whole article on this and not mention the gigantic elephant in the room.
     
  5. Big Marn

    Big Marn Juniors

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    "he's got a real good connection with both wings"

    How's that?

    Wtf..
     
  6. Matua

    Matua Juniors

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    [​IMG]

    "I'm not going to be topping any try scoring lists this year".
     
  7. Mighty Ape Man

    Mighty Ape Man Juniors

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    Stop reading my mind. On the plus side... No sorry I can't think of anything
     
  8. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Referee

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    The plus side is Ken might actually score quite a few
     
  9. waipiro

    waipiro Juniors

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    It is very surprising that playing him on the right as preferred wasn't investigated earlier.
    In saying that if he improves on last year that got to be positive and potentially being on the right improves his confidence/ability to pass?
    He did set Fus up in the last trial so thats promising as he didnt set Ken up for many more than that all season last year.
     
  10. Mighty Ape Man

    Mighty Ape Man Juniors

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    Excellent point. Hopefully Ken's Whangarei trial form will continue into the season proper
     
  11. sup42

    sup42 Juniors

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    Meh it's nothing but good news.

    People close to the club have been saying for an age that he passes well left to right.

    It's a sign that they have finally reached a stage where they have total confidence in the defensive system first and foremost . . . Which is how they reached a level where they can move players without the whole house of cards falling over.

    The Bluey / Elliot/ Cappy teams were too brittle defensively to afford more than mere cursory player switching.

    It all relied on Mannering holding the whole leaky deal together.

    Now they have some of the best defensive props and backrower in the comp (when they leave lisone out).

    Hookers are right up there defensively too.

    Plus their forwards both sides are ball players which again allows them to take risks shuffling centers around.

    I think Kata will kill it with Fus.
     
    Scott likes this.
  12. SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Referee

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    I was impressed with his finishing skills in that trial, I must say. He wasn't gifted those tries.
     
    sup42 likes this.
  13. WellsNZ

    WellsNZ Juniors

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    I think this potentially balances out the attack more.

    But if he doesn't give Fus the ball my patience will run out very quickly.
     
    Benek and sup42 like this.
  14. sup42

    sup42 Juniors

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    The bigger news was Kearney giving Ken the services of Hiku and Tohu.

    Is this to be the first time since Daniel Anderson that we feild a team that is lethal all over the park ?


    I dream of that day, I'm very very excited people, they are trying it on, I hope they have the cahones to run it for a full season til it works.

    RTS- Kata-Fus

    Tohu-Hiku-Ken


    That really would mess with a lot of NRL teams Warriors tip sheets this year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    Rich102 likes this.
  15. Big Marn

    Big Marn Juniors

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    Personally, I think your a little bit delusional in this particular appraisal. ( its almost as if you erased Kata 2018 from your mind).... But i hope to be proven wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    sup42 likes this.
  16. ZEROMISSTACKLES

    ZEROMISSTACKLES First Grade

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    I think Tohu played right side last year alongside Johnson and Hiku. I'm guessing it would look like this if we keep those backs you mentioned...

    Left side:
    Ken/Hiku/Papalii

    Right side:
    Fus/Kata/Tohu

    Floater:
    RTS
     
  17. Wheeled Warrior

    Wheeled Warrior Juniors

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    Master stroke in the making. Well done Stacey. We look really good on both sides. Looking forward to Round 1 and seeing all this unfold.
     
    sup42 likes this.
  18. BLN2

    BLN2 Juniors

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    Ken now fantasy relevant? Might take a punt on him eh.. Can see his try tally doubling this year. He looked outstanding in the trial.

    Fus is best with early ball, the centre was cut out out quite often last season, by either SJ or Harris. Hopefully RTS can do it too.
     
    Wheeled Warrior likes this.
  19. Big Marn

    Big Marn Juniors

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    this is true but i also remember Hiku assisting quite often, some of the passes being very Matt Gidley like. I think Fus has better hands and awareness than Ken so will be interesting to see how this experiment plays out.
     
  20. sup42

    sup42 Juniors

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    I've seen feedback from people close to the Warriors since Kata came on the scene that he has an excellent pass in one direction.

    Seems logical if hes now on his favored side you're talking a different Kata.

    Been training there all off season too. Will be interesting to watch the changes play out as you and others have said.

    I think Kata will come into his own.

    I hope so. It certainly worked for Bunty. They wasted a season running him out of position, he was a shadow of the player you see now at Prop.

    Katas direct power running and Fusitua's corner work are the perfect compliment ( if Kata is on his natural passing lane) kata always draws two . ..
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019

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