The hard work behind Marika Koroibete's purple patch of form

Rugby World Cup
by Iain Payten

Marika Koroibete is not known for his kicking, and as one of the fastest men in world rugby, nor should he be.

But Koroibete's dedication to improving his kicking skills - on a just-in-case basis - exemplifies the outstanding work ethic of the star Wallabies winger, according to Samu Kerevi.

Kerevi praised Koroibete for yet another superb game in Australia's win over Fiji at the Saporro Dome on Saturday, in which the speedy winger ran for 125 metres and scored a sizzling, sideline-hugging try in the second half.

Koroibete has been one of the best-performed Wallabies this winter and the confidence with which he is playing is not only compounding, as far as form goes, it actually lifts the rest of the team, too.

"It’s contagious," Kerevi said.

"Seeing him run down that field, seeing him the way he tackles, the way he puts his body on the line, everybody in the team lifts from that. It gets really contagious and for him, we were in recovery together, just down in the nice spas downstairs. He is building again for next week, we have to look at this game and take the learnings and move forward."

In a collection of typically strong stats, Koroibete carried 10 times ran for 125 metres in the game, with four clean breaks and six defenders beaten. And one try against the country of his birth, of course.

And - yes - there was one perfectly decent clearance kick from his 22.

"It was a good feeling, although obviously a lot of people back home would have been cheering for Fiji," Koroibete said post-game.

"We were fighting back at that point, we needed a try so we could get the momentum back. It was a very important try."

Koroibete, who re-signed with RugbyAU and the Rebels this week until 2021, said before the World Cup that mentoring work done by Will Genia and Quade Cooper had helped him understand his role far more than ever this season.

Kerevi said no-one grafts harder to improve his game than Koroibete.

"He is a guy that works extremely hard on his craft," Kerevi said.

"I remember first coming into camp and we do a lot of little things, like kicking together. Just working on his craft. He is a guy no-one would expect to kick but when he has the opportunity to, he wants to be able to execute that.

"He is one of the fittest guys in our team and is probably the quickest. You saw that pace.

"Having his new-born as well, its given him extra confidence and he wears his heart on his sleeve. I am really happy how he went last night and I think he is going to bring that for the rest of the tournament."

The Wallabies take on Wales on Sunday September 29, kicking off at 4:45pm local, 5:45pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Network Ten and via RADIO.