Manly makeshift playmaker Apisai Koroisau is approaching his limited time filling Daly Cherry-Evan’s shoes with a chip on his shoulder.
The former South Sydney grand final-winning hooker was dropped by coach Trent Barrett following just two games in the Sea Eagles No.9 jumper after being usurped by Matt Parcell.
After spending a fortnight in NSW Cup, Koroisau received an unexpected reprieve when he was called in to replace star halfback Cherry-Evans while he recovered from an ankle sprain.
The Queensland and Australian representative is expected to spend the next three weeks on the sidelines, giving Koroisau time to mount a case for a recall into the Sea Eagles’ top 17.
“I felt like I had a point to prove, I didn’t show my full potential in the first two games and got dropped,” Koroisau said.
“I just wanted to show some of the Manly fans out there that I was capable of playing footy.
“At the end of the day I think just having fun brings out the best in me.”
Koroisau could hardly have made a stronger case in his first-up showing in the No.7 in last week’s loss to South Sydney, scoring a try, making three linebreaks and 11 tackle busts in a standout display.
He will again form an unlikely halves duo with flatmate and former Rabbitohs teammate Dylan Walker against the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday.
He said he had been given no indication by Barrett how he plans to be used upon Cherry-Evans’ return and was out to make a fist of it in an unfamiliar position.
“I’ve never been a half and while in the top tier of footy I’ve always played hooker and it was pretty surprising when I did get thrown in,” Koroisau said.
“We just happen to be roommates and it was pretty special. I think we both stepped up on Thursday night against Souths.”