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How good is ...Peta Hiku

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Jax24, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Jax24

    Jax24 Well-Known Member

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    By Chris Kennedy, National Correspondent
    Fri, Feb 13, 2015 - 12:00PM


    Manly utility back Peta Hiku began 2014 not even in Manly's best 17 and finished it a Test incumbent, a Four Nations champion, and a long-term Sea Eagle after penning a three-year extension that will keep him on the northern beaches until at least 2017.

    Prodigiously talented and able to play centre, wing or fullback, Hiku plugged several gaps in the Sea Eagles backline throughout 2014. Still just 22, he seems the natural long-term successor to first-choice custodian Brett Stewart when the prolific 29-year-old eventually decides to hang up the boots.

    Until then, Hiku will continue to ply his trade in the three-quarter line and filling in when Stewart is unavailable – two things he did with great success in his breakout season.

    What made 2014 so special?

    Manly's incumbent 2013 grand final wingers, Jorge Taufua and David Williams, were each coming off fruitful years yielding 20 tries apiece. Early season injuries to those men and Stewart gave Hiku his chance and he never looked back.

    A somewhat surprise call-up to Steve Kearney's new-look Kiwis side for the Trans-Tasman Test in May, Hiku acquitted himself admirably and went from strength to strength thereafter. He capped the year with a successful Four Nations campaign, performing strongly in all four games as the first-choice Kiwis fullback as the team clean-swept the competition.

    He played every game for Manly in 2014: three at fullback, four at centre and 19 on the wing. His tally of 17 tries was the NRL's equal fifth-best, and he added 15 line breaks and 33 offloads, averaging 110 metres per game. He was also responsible for one or two of the most spectacular groundings of the season; a four-pointer in Auckland in Round 20 against the Warriors lives long in the memory.

    How can he be better in 2015?

    Hiku missed 67 tackles in 2014, a number he would like to get down this year, and the same goes for his one-error-per-game record of 27 mistakes last season. But probably the biggest improvement for Hiku in the next few years will come when he moves closer to the action in a shift to centre or fullback.

    With arguably the game's best centre pairing in Jamie Lyon and Steve Matai returning for at least one more year, and one of the competition's best fullbacks also still on the Manly roster, this may not happen this season. But when it does happen, and we'll probably get a few more mini-glances before it happens full-time, we could really see Hiku blossom.

    Which new signing will have the greatest influence on him?

    For now, the big changes for Manly are in the forward pack, with the backs and playmakers unchanged from 2014. As someone who spends most of his time on the wing, having Willie Mason and Feleti Mateo replace Jason King and Anthony Watmough shouldn't have a huge impact on Hiku's form.

    As a quality support player, lurking around a gifted offloader like Feleti Mateo could provide some opportunities for Hiku, while the emergence of other outside backs such as Clint Gutherson and Tom Trbojevic could change the configuration in the backs, especially if injuries become a factor throughout the season.
     
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  2. Jax24

    Jax24 Well-Known Member

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    Nice article on Peta!!!
     
  3. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Geez mate, you're always posting positive articles on Mr Hiku......

    You related to him or something?!?!?!?!?! @:rolleyes:@:rolleyes:


    ;);):babyangel::rugby:@:cool::giggle::giggle:






    (lol...in case more emoji's were needed)
     
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  4. cherry_poppins

    cherry_poppins Well-Known Member

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  5. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    @Jax24 I'd be interested to know what Peta's preferred position is. I'm hoping we can turn him into a centre to cover for Killer and Skivvi's imminent departure, what would he think about that
     
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  6. Jax24

    Jax24 Well-Known Member

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    Oh no the secret is out GE lol. Must say I'm shocked any time I find a positive article on a Manly player, let alone a specific player.
     
  7. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Has he ever played in the halves?
     
  8. niccipops

    niccipops un echidna spillo mia bevanda Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    @Jax24 your avatar freaks me out. I'm just a pink glider possum you know. It's Friday the 13th too.....
    Great article on Peta.:D
     
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  9. MadMarcus

    MadMarcus Local Lunatic 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    But how long before he is seen having dinner with Ricky Stuart and looking for houses in Townsville?
     
  10. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Star players off contract all get shouted at the best restaurants by the likes of Flannagan, Neil Henry and Stuart. If you don't get a free dinner from a dud club you aren't really top echelon.
     
  11. PONTIAN SEA EAGLE

    PONTIAN SEA EAGLE Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised more clubs aren't after Hiku.The kid can play a few positions.
     
  12. Andrew..

    Andrew.. Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    As if we don't have enough to worry about !
     
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  13. Jax24

    Jax24 Well-Known Member

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    That is what I think will happen. However in saying that, up to this point Peta's best games and football have been played at Fullback. He just seems more at home as his form in the Four Nation's showed being at the back.

    He has done a decent job on the Wing and finished well at times even though many were just putting it over the line. Seventeen tries is 17 tries. His ability to defuse the high ball also helped. Had some defensive issues at times on Wing which is something he needs to improve on. Some I thought were the defensive system used, others were him just not having enough pace to turn and chase and out of position, while other times just weak tackling and effort. Also last year was probably the first time he played Wing full time.

    I know some would prefer other options out wide as Peta isn't a specialist wing which is understandable. In some ways I don't think he is best utilised there either. In saying that Tooves obviously rates Peta highly and with Snake at the back it's the only way to get Peta on the paddock.

    I guess he did al'right when he filled in at centre and this could possibly be his future position. I think he can become a solid replacement for Skivi or Killer.

    The tough thing for Peta is he has the gift and the curse of being a utility player and used to fill gaps when needed. He hasn't had the ability to stay at one position and master it other than fullback. Flipside is he's a very important player due to his versatility.

    I guess to answer your original question, Peta's preferred position would be Fullback but he will play wherever required and if that means Centre so be it. Obviously with Gutho and Tom T coming through we have a few options for the future.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  14. Jax24

    Jax24 Well-Known Member

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    Peta did play a couple games at 6 in the U20 Warriors team. I watched one of them as it was in the Finals where he did ok I thought.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  15. Jax24

    Jax24 Well-Known Member

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    Haha yeah my Avatar was quite fitting for the day lol. It was also one of my son's birthdays as well. Your pink glider possum has nothing to fear too lol.
     
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  16. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

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    Oohh errrrr!!:lipssealed:
     
  17. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Pink glider possum. Now there's a euphemism I've never heard before.
     
  18. niccipops

    niccipops un echidna spillo mia bevanda Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Seriously you guys?:p I should have known better. Now redirect your minds and continue worrying about the sky falling at Manly. We may have to play Under 16's or possibly netball reserves in the halves for 2016.
    Is there even going to be a 2015 season?
     
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  19. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

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    If you look closely, you can see the pink glider possum's pink glider possum.

    LOL! :tmi:
     
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  20. niccipops

    niccipops un echidna spillo mia bevanda Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Now that did make me LOL:giggle:
     
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