With just 80 minutes remaining in the NRL, rugby-bound winger Marika Koroibete admits he’s only leaving the Melbourne Storm for money.
Sunday’s NRL grand final against Cronulla will be the Fijian flyer’s last match with the Storm after signing with the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby team.
While his heart may still say Storm, his head said rugby union, with the massive joint offer from the Rebels and Australian Rugby Union, who view him as a future Wallaby, too good to refuse.
“I’d like to have stayed,” Koroibete said after the Storm’s gripping 14-12 preliminary final win over Canberra.
“I have to look after the family, especially back home (in Fiji).
“It’s a business decision; but if they gave me a good offer I would have stayed.”
Koroibete was involved in the game-changing play of the AAMI Park game, cutting through the Raiders defence and racing 70 metres.
Canberra fullback Jack Wighton was sin-binned for a professional foul as the Storm winger looked for a quick play-the-ball, and Melbourne took advantage of the Raiders being down a man with Cheyse Blair scoring less than a minute later.
Koroibete also pulled off a big hit on Raiders winger Jordan Rapana, who after taking a Blake Green kick, was driven back into the in-goal by the 23-year-old.
In the ensuing set Storm halfback Cooper Cronk came up with his team’s opening try.
Kororibete said it was tough to leave the club who kick-started his career after signing him from Wests Tigers mid-season in 2014 where he was languishing in the NSW Cup.
“Even today was a bit emotional, playing my last home game,” he said.
“Playing in the grand final next week will mean a lot to me.”