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Watch: Marika Koroibete stars for Panasonic showing why Wallabies will miss him

By Sam Smith
(Source/J Sports)

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Star Wallabies wing Marika Koroibete has had a disrupted start to his career with the Panasonic Wild Knights but got the chance to show his wares in a 27-3 win over the Canon Eagles.

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One of the key men in 2021 for Dave Rennie’s side, Koroibete was especially instrumental in aiding the Wallabies in their defeats of the Springboks, particularly in Brisbane where the flying wing scored a critical second half try.

Panasonic have been unable to play in the opening two rounds of the Japan Rugby League One season due to Covid postponements. They returned to action in round three against a hot Canon Eagles side that had started the season with two wins including a 55-21 victory over the typically strong Kobelco Steelers.

After a tight opening half hour with the scores locked at 3-all it was Koroibete who sparked the Wild Knights into life with a break down the left hand side from a kick return. Springbok centre Jesse Kriel failed to grab the wild pass back inside, knocking it backward into the path of recently capped Brave Blossom Dylan Riley.

The fortuitous bounce allowed Riley to score under the posts which gave Panasonic a 10-3 lead just before halftime.

Former Welsh international Hadleigh Parkes was the next beneficiary from a Koroibete break when the winger stormed onto a short ball on a scrum play around halfway.

The 29-year-old Fijian-born star sliced through the Eagles backline before finding his flanker in support, Lachlan Boshier. Parkes was the final recipient, scoring untouched to blow the score out to 17-3, a lead which Panasonic never let up.

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Having inked a three-year deal with the Panasonic Wild Knights, Koroibete’s international career is in limbo with 42-caps to his name not enough to meet the existing Giteau law requirement of 60 for overseas-based Wallabies.

Whether the exemptions allowed in 2021 by Rugby Australia that saw the likes of Will Skelton and Sean McMahon earn recalls will continue is unclear for Koroibete.

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