Isaako ready to take the Hammer to Dolphins teammate
Two Dolphins stars will collide this weekend when the Kiwis take on the Kangaroos, with one relishing to take on his club teammate on the international stage.
The two players have been inseparable this season and have continued their strong form in the Pacific Championships for their respective countries – Tabuai Fidow for Australia and Isaako for New Zealand.
“Definitely looking forward to it, there’s been some banter between us leading up to this game,” Isaako said when asked about facing Tabuai-Fidow via NRL.com.
“It’s always special to see your teammates and how they are going, especially Hammer representing Australia.
“To see him and how he shone in the green and gold, I was pretty happy for him.”
The Kiwis winger would also go on to recount his stellar 2023 season with The Dolphins that saw him become one of the best wingers in the competition and take out the 2023 Dally M Winger of the Year award.
He would also top the try-scoring and point-scoring leaderboard, as well as scoring a double against Samoa last weekend in a 50-0 demolition of their opponents.
“The confidence that Wayne and the coaching staff at the Dolphins have been able to instill in me and bring back, obviously I haven’t really been playing with too much confidence over the last couple of years,” he added.
“I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get that confidence back over the pre-season.
“They’ve given me full confidence coming into this season and then obviously coming into camp with the Kiwis.
Former New Zealand Kiwis representative with 25 caps under his belt, Tony Kemp, spoke about what the Kangaroos need to watch out for when taking on the Kiwis and what impressed him in the match against Samoa.
Mainly, Kemp singled out the four players that played a huge difference in the side, giving massive props to the national team’s spine – Charzne Nicoll-Klokstad, Dylan Brown, Jarome Hughes and Fa’amanu Brown.
“The spine was probably where the difference in the sides was going forward, they really sliced them up in the back.
“Jahrome Huges is one hell of a player, Dylan Brown seems to be building some combination with him, I guess it’s something the Kangaroos need to look out for.”
“The edges were really good yesterday, young (Matthew) Timoko besides arguably one of the best centres that New Zealand has ever produced (Joey Manu) is a real find,” Kemp added.
“In today’s age when you get limited Test time and limited games at the international level, when you can say the Kiwis pull off such a convincing win, you’ve got to question the international game and whether more games need to be played around Origin time.”
The New Zealand Kiwis will take on the Australian Kangaroos on Saturday in Melbourne, Victoria, at AAMI Park