General Warriors Sign Ukuma Ta'ai

MiXmasterreece_old

Guest
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THE WARRIORS have signed Tongan international second rower Ukuma Ta'ai from Fox Memorial side Mt Albert for the 2009 season.

The 21-year-old is said to be a powerful player in the mould of Epalahame Lauaki - a rugged ball carrier and punishing on defence - and has been training with the Warriors for a month. He also impressed Auckland Vulcans coach Bernie Perenara, who has given him a couple of games for the Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup.

- https://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/s...ectid=10523709
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
I haven't seen any Vulcans matches or Mt Albert matches. Has anyone seen the guy play?

Mt Albert are a strong side, so that's a good sign...I hope.
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
Really good to see. I like it when we sign these raw powerful type players, you get a mixed bag sometimes but it gives our forwards another dimension that only Lauaki has provided (who even he would admit has played below par this season) since the departure of Feka. Haven't seen him play but our management have been pretty spot on with signings in the past 2 years. I'd also still like to see what Retzlaff has to offer, the club renewed his contract earlier in the week also.
 

blain91_old

Guest
i dont think he will be in the top 25 just yet, nice to see the warriors awarding club players
 

kingdamo_old

Guest
That is just the opinion of one person, does not mean he is exactly like Lauaki.

Never happy eh Skinny? :puke:
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Really good to see. I like it when we sign these raw powerful type players, you get a mixed bag sometimes but it gives our forwards another dimension that only Lauaki has provided (who even he would admit has played below par this season) since the departure of Feka. Haven't seen him play but our management have been pretty spot on with signings in the past 2 years. I'd also still like to see what Retzlaff has to offer, the club renewed his contract earlier in the week also.

Seriously? Oh man, I really hope that's the case! I've never even seen the guy play, but I've met him a few times, and the last time we spoke, he was really hoping to impress enough to get an extension. I'll be stoked for the guy if he's managed to do that! :D
 

playdaball_old

Guest
Duanne Mann was talking about him on radio sport a few weeks ago. He said he was surprised that the Warriors had signed him. He commented that he was very 'raw' but had potential.
He has only been in NZ for a short time i.e. - he is a home grown Tongan.
 

Viking_old

Guest
I don't know if he's played much for Mt Albert, certainly wasn't playing when we had them 4 months ago. Bernie's a good judge of players though.
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
Seriously? Oh man, I really hope that's the case! I've never even seen the guy play, but I've met him a few times, and the last time we spoke, he was really hoping to impress enough to get an extension. I'll be stoked for the guy if he's managed to do that! :D


oops, I thought it was a done deal. I misread yet again, it says the club is likely to extend his deal. I'm sure I read in another article that they re-signed him the same day they signed Lewie Brown. Dang.

While chasing Smith, the Warriors are also poised to sign Tigers reserve-grade hooker Lewis Brown, considered a stand-out prospect in Christchurch before he went to Sydney, and are also likely to extend the contract of another former Tigers reserve, prop Hermann Retzlaff, despite his failing to break first grade this year.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/4650573a1823.html
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Well, that article you've quoted there is obviously prior us signing Brown, so it may have happened. I last spoke to Hermann during the second bye - so a lot could have happened since then.
 

blain91_old

Guest
i lived with 3 tongans in a hostel, great boys :D

after becoming great mates with them, when i hear of a tongan (born and bred) well, they seem to be great guys. im presuming that ta'ai will be similar :)
 

kiwi man_old

Guest
i read the feature on him in RLW and if that article is anything to go by then we could have signed a superstar in the making.. apparently the warriors are trying to keep him secret.. he looks like a big unit and apparently hasnt even had a full offseason of league behind him, so no weights, this is his first year playing rugby league
 

bigstuboy_old

Guest
yea i saw alil snippet of this guy and geez what a prospect he is i've been waiting for so long to see another huge impact player in the team i think our last big impact player woulda been paleaseena
 

warriors_ballboy_CEO_old

Guest
He is the same built as Sonny bill, yet he has never been to a gym.

I will upload the image from the Rugby League Weekly mag.
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
yes please. I've been to 5 newsagents in the past 2 days lookin for my weekly copy of RLW and it's all sold out. gutted.
 

kiwi man_old

Guest
yeh going by the article he is a monster in the making
"a huge fend"
"can step off both feet"
"fierce competitor"
"hits and runs REALLY hard"
"tough as nails"

i havent seen the tongan world cup squad but it woud be good for both the warriors and him if he plays, will only benefit him.. but then again would be good to get him in for a full offseason and mould a machine, could be a massive surprise packet in 09
fingers crossed anyway