The world of Rugby League.

rleague.com

Hiku stars for Manly as NRL's Mr Fix-It

Manly gave utility back Peta Hiku an inch, and he's taken a mile.
Hiku stars for Manly as NRL's Mr Fix-It
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, May 18 AAP - Manly gave utility back Peta Hiku an inch, and he's taken a mile.

Making his debut for the Sea Eagles in round six of last NRL season as a fill-in for Brett Stewart, Hiku has turned his role as Mr Fix-It into nearly a full-time job.

On the surface not much has changed for the 21-year-old - 12 months on and he's still running out as a replacement, this time for star centre Jamie Lyon in Monday night's clash against Newcastle.

But there's not many part-time first graders who can call themselves Test players.

Hiku's first international start for New Zealand earlier this month was one of the most unexpected since Krisnan Inu was called up for the Kiwis after just one NRL match in 2007.

However, it was just reward for one of the game's most improved players.

With Stewart sidelined for most of Manly's run into the finals last year, critics had the Sea Eagles done and dusted.

But Hiku was a rock solid presence at the back for Manly in some big games and played a vital role in seeing the Sea Eagles into the grand final.

Hiku still isn't in Manly's first-choice backline, but he's played 22 games as a replacement and turned the Sea Eagles injury problems into a silver lining for not just himself, but for the club.

"It all came too quick. I had my debut in round six last year against the Sharks so since then it's been full on with NRL footy," Hiku said.

"I'm really happy to be here and while I'm here I'll give my all for the team.

"Playing for the Kiwis was a dream come true really. It's been a dream of mine since I was young to play in the black and white jumper."

Despite the competition he faces to secure a permanent spot in the Manly 17, Hiku earlier this year decided to sign a new three-year deal - ignoring interest from Canterbury.

Hiku's preferred position is fullback, but is in no hurry to usurp the Prince of Brookvale Stewart at the back.

"I don't mind it. He helps me out a lot even when he is playing," he said.

"I like playing fullback but Snake is the best at our club so backing him up is a real honour.

"I'm enjoying playing centres as well.

"There wasn't too much temptation (to look elsewhere). I really like the boys here, they really look after me. I think I have a lot more to learn from them so hopefully they can help me out over the next three years."

Newcastle are desperate to snap a three-match losing streak, but must do so under the weight of gloom that is surrounding the club at the moment.

Many players and staff weren't paid on time last week and Nathan Tinkler's ownership of the club is being called into question by angry members.

The Knights have lost centre Joey Leilua to a torn hamstring.


Your thoughts?


You need to login or register to contribute here



Follow rleague.com on Facebook

Related Profiles

View profile pages including statistics, results, news, photos and more on all of the following...

Popular News Stories