Queensland Reds skipper James Slipper has challenged Samu Kerevi to make his match-winning performance against the Highlanders a standard he retains throughout the Super Rugby season.
Kerevi scored a try and set up the Reds two other five-pointers in the first half of Saturday’s 28-27 victory over the 2015 champions, a virtuoso 40-minute performance in which he accrued 150 metres and broke seven tackles.
Slipper, playing his first game of the season after post-World Cup shoulder and knee surgery last year, said he wasn’t surprised by the 22-year-old’s performance, and that he wanted to see the same kind of display on a regular basis.
“We all knew he had the potential to do this,” Slipper said.
“He’s a big ball carrier, he’s pretty dominant and he trains hard. He’s got all the attributes to be a great centre in the future.
“What we saw is something that he can definitely bring week to week. It’s up to Samu to push himself and make that a consistent effort.”
Co-interim head coach Matt O’Connor was happy to see the glimpses of promise shown during the first five games of the season come to fruition in such spectacular fashion.
“There’ve been bits and pieces of that (form) for the last month,” O’Connor said.
“In the first 40 minutes, those things clicked, confidence grew and it was exciting to be out there, I’m sure.”
Fiji-born Kerevi, who was part of an extended Wallabies squad last year, will certainly put pressure on Michael Cheika to hand him his first cap in the June internationals against England if he can back up this form.