Hertford Highlander

Kade Poki the best winger in the competition – on one leg !


Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :In the news, Super Rugby on 13 Apr 2011 at 06:58
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Skysport.co.nz reports Highlanders wing Kade Poki is in the best form of his career and he is not even fully fit.

Poki (23) has been one of the standout three-quarters in the first part of Super rugby, challenging opponents with his sharp acceleration, tricky footwork and high workrate.

He has become one of the Highlanders’ main attacking weapons and yet, by his own admission, he is only 85% fit.

He has been hampered by an ongoing injury to his right knee which has restricted his training and which swells up after matches.

“It’s been giving me trouble pretty much since the start of the season,” he said. “It’s probably about 85% at the moment but it’s getting me through games. I’ve managing to get through and hopefully it holds up.

“Ideally, I’d like to get the knee sorted out but I’d also like to get as much game time as I can and hopefully we can push on towards the playoffs.”

Poki ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament when he was 16 and has had intermittent problems since.

“Every week after I play it swells up and becomes a bit of a hassle so they’ve shortened my workload in terms of running and I’m just doing boxing and stuff instead.”

Poki, who plays for Tasman in the ITM Cup, has been pleased with his form so far this season.

“I feel as if I’m playing some good footy. I’m getting my hands on the ball a bit more than in the past and it feels good. I think your confidence increases when you get a reasonable number of opportunities to run with the ball.”

But Poki realises the Highlanders face a tricky assignment when they play the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday night.

The Rebels have won their last two matches, against the Hurricanes and Force, and they have been particularly formidable at home.

“They’re definitely a better team at home,” Poki said. “We saw that when they beat the Hurricanes after they conceded a big lead in the first half.”

The Highlanders were far from convincing in their 24-21 win over the Cheetahs in Dunedin last week and Poki said the players realised they had to play better to win in Melbourne.

“We made 20 line breaks against the Cheetahs and they made six. We just didn’t convert them into points. A lot of guys made good breaks but it’s the last pass, or just being more patient, which need to be fixed.”

Poki said the Highlanders were aware they had the chance to have one of the franchise’s best campaigns for some time.

“It’s been a good start. Five wins from seven is the best start the Highlanders have had for a few years and we want to continue that improvement.”

Poki was not even an original selection from the Highlanders. He was called into the squad when Taranaki fullback Kurt Baker suffered a stress fracture to his back and was ordered to take three months’ rest.

Poki spent three years with the Crusaders but a nagging hamstring injury ruined his season last year and he was not chosen this season.

But he learnt a lot from coach Robbie Deans and he also credits Kieran Keane, the Tasman coach who is now an assistant coach with the Highlanders, as a big influence on his career.



16 Comments

  • This boy came straight out of nowhere! What a talent he is. Can’t see him making the All Black Squad any time soon though. Far to many wings to choose from.

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.04.11 09:18:01 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 1) :

    Very true Ben……. gee he’s going well at the minute though.

    He is a bit of an old fashion winger. :cool:

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.04.11 09:23:21 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 2) : Reminds me a bit of Dougie Howlett?

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.04.11 09:25:47 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 3) :

    Dougie was a wee bit quicker, he is sort of tricky on his feet a funny sort of guy to watch, pops up all over the paddock and must be close to being the top line breaker in the Super 15 ! :cool:

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.04.11 09:29:45 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 4) : Another winger that impresses me is Masaga. Unfortunately he is playing in a struggling backline at the moment. That boys has got some pace and strength to boot.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.04.11 09:34:04 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 5) :

    Yeah he is a brilliant player, I think our best winger in 12 months will be Julian Savea from the Canes, absolutely brilliant youngest. :cool:

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.04.11 09:43:31 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 6) : Haven’t noticed him yet, will have a look when the Canes play again.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.04.11 09:46:22 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 7) :

    … you haven’t noticed him because he has been pants ! :???:

    ….. but watch this space ! :cool:

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.04.11 09:51:06 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 8) : What do you mean pants?

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.04.11 09:53:20 by Ben Reply
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  • I was shocked whe he was dropped. Early in the season (Rnd 2 I think) after an excellent performance the previous week.

    I can only think it was for discipline issues. Lets hope he learnt from that and sticks to the straight and narrow.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.04.11 10:06:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • I was shocked whe he was dropped. Early in the season (Rnd 2 I think) after an excellent performance the previous week.

    I can only think it was for discipline issues. Lets hope he learnt from that and stick to the straight and narrow.

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.04.11 10:07:41 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : :?:

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.04.11 10:09:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Seems as if Sharksworld, the home of KZN rugby blogsphere, which was brought to one and all from the UK has now been hijacked and is based in New Zealand. :cool:

    Keep up the good work HH.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.04.11 10:09:45 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I loved the way Poki destroyed the Bulls earlier in the year. :cool:

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.04.11 10:12:07 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 13) :

    Sorry Salmonoid, just thought I’d let Rob have a bit of a holiday break.

    …..I’ll log off now ! :cry:

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.04.11 10:28:25 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 15) :
    No need to log off, as I said keep up the good work.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.04.11 10:53:52 by Salmonoid Reply
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