WATCH: The evolution of explosive centre Samu Kerevi

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    Samu Kerevi is an integral part of Michael Cheika’s masterplan for the future of the Wallabies’ backline, with his ability to decimate defenders with his sheer size, explosive speed and power, as he has demonstrated for the Reds since 2014.

    The Fijian-born centre recently made his debut for the Wallabies in their three-Test series against England, where he started at 12 in the first and second Tests.

    Samu paired up with Brumbies’ Fijian-born centre Tevita Kuridrani, making an effective two-man demolition team against the Poms. However, an injury to Rob Horne caused Michael Cheika to reshuffle the backline sending the pair into different channels, and the Wallabies game plan suffered drastically with the side going on to lose the first Test 28-39.

    Samu moved to Brisbane when he was four-years-old along with his family, which included his father Nimilote Kerevi, a Fijian international football representative. His brother Josua Kerevi also plays rugby and represented the Fijian U20s alongside Samu in 2012.

    Samu played for GPS Old Boys in Brisbane, where he impressed selectors from the QRU with his powerful tackle-busting runs, and signed with the Reds’ extended playing squad in 2013.

    He made his debut for the Reds in 2014 and has since become an integral part of their backline. He went on to represent Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championships where he continued to break through defenders with ease, setting up and scoring multiple tries.

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • July 7th 2016 @ 11:28am
      Boz the Younger said | July 7th 2016 @ 11:28am | ! Report

      An awesome player with an amazing commitment to keeping on learning. I reckon he will pick up playmaking and kicking skills in the next few years which will see him become a genuine play-making/ball running 12 in the mould of the great Ma’aa Nonu.

    • July 7th 2016 @ 11:52am
      Buzzard said | July 7th 2016 @ 11:52am | ! Report

      When will you guys get it ?? … Checka does not rate SAMU KEREVI., that is why he was droppedfor the third test against the Poms…

      There is no chance he will pick SK against the AB`S in August..

      He will go with the Gitaeu TK combo .. As long as Gits can walk, he will be 12 ….

      • July 7th 2016 @ 12:35pm
        R2D2 said | July 7th 2016 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        You are probably right , but Gits has been playing in a league which even D Carter has admitted is a bit slower to what he had been use to and it suited him at his age. Gits is no spring chicken and playing test level rugby maybe to much of an ask, even though he does provide a lot of experience and honestly do you think this comb would put the fair of god into opposing teams.

      • July 7th 2016 @ 3:56pm
        Boz the Younger said | July 7th 2016 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

        He rates Kerevi, not many players get two starts in a key position for their first two test caps, he was only replaced against England because they needed a bit more experience at 12 with Toomua becoming availalbe. I reckon he will go for a Giteau/Izzy starting centre combo with Kerevi on the bench for the Bledisloe, TK just isn’t performing at Super or international level.

        • Roar Guru

          July 7th 2016 @ 4:21pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 7th 2016 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

          I’m not fixated on TK at 13 but it would be ludicrous to move on a proven test performer to shuffle around other players and still leave holes anyway.

          There’s absolutely no reason you can’t fit Kerevi, TK, Folau and DHP all in the same backline, all in positions they are very experienced in.

          Most importantly it gives you some crash ball options, players who can commit defenders and put players outside into space, a bit of pace, and a second kicking option with a good boot. And we aren’t shuffling players to suit. We are playing all players in positions they are extremely experienced and comfortable in.

          That still leaves the other wing spot where you can bring in another player with the right skills. For me Rob Horne is not ideal (the current best option with injuries, form, etc). Ideally it would be great if we had a player in good form with express pace and a kicking game, or size.

          Now if we had 2 wingers in exceptional form who filled what we needed, that would certainly be a different story and players like TK would be first on the chopping block.

      • July 8th 2016 @ 1:11am
        A.O.Tear Rower said | July 8th 2016 @ 1:11am | ! Report

        Well thats something youve made up and is as likely to be true as the earth being flat Buzzard.
        What gives you the right to assume something based on nothing and proclaim it to be gospel?

        Cheika has said he rates Kerevi and he picked him for 2 test starts.
        He didnt pick him in test 3 because Toomua and Kuridrani are a club combo and he clearly felt, like many, that another ball-player was required.

        I dont know who wrote this article but the centre pairing of Kerevi and Kuridrani didnt work that well and in test 2 where they were paired for most of the test match the Wallabies only scored once.
        Thats why it was changed, because it didnt work Richard.

        • Roar Guru

          July 8th 2016 @ 6:51am
          Train Without A Station said | July 8th 2016 @ 6:51am | ! Report

          Yet the wallabies scored twice in the first 20 minutes of test 1, through the backline players, with this combo because it fixed inside defenders.

          • July 8th 2016 @ 7:35am
            taylorman said | July 8th 2016 @ 7:35am | ! Report

            Scoring in the first twenty minutes is usually more about opportunity than gameplan or structure, which becomes more obvious as the test, and in this case, the series, beds in.

            One thing I prefer to happen when the ABs play is for the opposition to score early. Thats because it provides two things… one…an instant, real time wake up call if everything theyve rehearsed to date hasnt woken them up already…and two… it tends to set the oppositions mind at ease a little more than they need to be, thinking they can do it again. That allows time for the ABs to put the blocks in, fill the gaps, and move the game to where they need to.

            In hindsight, those two early tries probably did the Wallabies more harm in the series than a lot of other things more commonly discussed.

    • Roar Guru

      July 7th 2016 @ 12:44pm
      Train Without A Station said | July 7th 2016 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      What evolution?

      He just tries to run through people. Peter Hughes said so!

    • Roar Guru

      July 7th 2016 @ 1:38pm
      ThugbyFan said | July 7th 2016 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

      Australia badly needs to invest in a top line skills coach. Some of these skills should be ingrained in players by age 16, but at SR and even WB level some of the players are abysmal in basic skills of pass and catch. Just big lumps who can run a bit. This skills coach can simply travel during the season and grab WB players and potentials from the local SR team and pound skills into them for 4 hours. Then leave them with specific tasks to practice and improve on. Five teams so each player gets this coaching say once every 6 weeks, and specific skills are monitored. Said coach could grab every WB forward from the England series and makes them run up and down the field in pods, giving off short offloads under pressure. Put the defenders under pressure. When this happens now, sadly the mistakes (generally wayward passes and dropsy) are by the WB players not the opposition. And please, no more of the garbage one-up running which telegraphs to the defence. Train these sloths (forwards and backs) in catching the ball and picking it up off the ground at pace without the guaranteed knock-on. Most of the test players are on ARU contracts, so they shouldn’t be dodging extra coaching to make them better players. They might moan, but show them videos of some of the pathetic play in the 3-test series and threaten to put it online. Some of the passing and catching was subbies grade.

      Many backs need to learn how to be effective in a breakdown and without giving a penalty, at least hold things up till the forwards arrive. Of particular concern is no-one in Australia seems able to pick a point on the field that will put severe pressure on the opposition and land a kick there. An international player should NEVER miss touch off a penalty kick, if he does he needs an extra 2 hours of practice and a kick up the butt. N.Phipps, S.Kerevi, DHP, B.Foley, CLL and N.Frisby should be taken aside and taught not only how to kick field kicks accurately, as well as select the position where the defence is weakest. The rush England defence knew they could leave acres of empty space just behind them as no-one in the WB could see the space or had the ability to land a good kick right in that area. Add that team execution really seemed poor, the chasers were one up spur-of-the-moment stuff and not with team intent. Time after time in the 3 just concluded tests, we saw kicks straight down the throat of an England back three defender. I remember one in Sydney, a 35m up-n-under where M.Brown, on his 40m line, didn’t not have to take a step. He even ran about 5m before the WB chasers arrived. Get an AFL kicking coach if you must, teach the players different punts and make them land 30-40m punts into a bucket upfield. Get them to do with blokes rushing in their face, not just stand there 10 times, kick the ball with a laugh then off for another photo shoot. Yawn, that’s not what happens in a match, so why is practice that way?

      S.Kerevi needs to get in his coach’s ear in this years NRC and play inside centre. Then practice his passing and field kicks, improve his skills until M.Cheika cannot ignore him. A competent Kerevi at #12 and I.Folau at OC is the way to go folks.

      • July 7th 2016 @ 9:23pm
        Ken Cathpole's Other Leg said | July 7th 2016 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

        Mick Byrne

      • July 8th 2016 @ 1:19am
        A.O.Tear Rower said | July 8th 2016 @ 1:19am | ! Report

        Eventually that may be the way to go if they have developed or if they have a ball-playing 15.

        I thought 1 thing that was blatently obvious in the test series was that Aus lacked kicking and ball-playing ability.

        They had the big runners like Kerevi, Kuridrani and Folau but only 1 person capable of unleashing them and creating opportunites for them to exploit.
        It didnt work.

        • July 8th 2016 @ 10:09am
          jameswm said | July 8th 2016 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          We missed Beale.

          Big time.

          • Roar Guru

            July 8th 2016 @ 10:54am
            Train Without A Station said | July 8th 2016 @ 10:54am | ! Report

            I disagree with missed Beale.

            Not because he’s not a good footballer.

            He played a part role in 2015. We also scored 11 tries across 3 tests in this series.

            How many do you expect we would have scored with Beale?

            We under utilized DHP as a second kicking option.

    • July 7th 2016 @ 9:27pm
      Joker said | July 7th 2016 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

      In the latest news, new cap Dane Hayley petty has payed for a new vase after him and brother Ross had an out of control play fight in they’re hotel. As well as breaking they’re curfew, good to see him fitting in to his wallaby back three roll nicely.

      • July 8th 2016 @ 10:11am
        jameswm said | July 8th 2016 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Is that a salad roll, or a neck roll? Oh – you mean role?

        And you mean fitting in to the back three with a renowned bad boy like Folau – who realistically is about the poster for a polite, humble and well-behaved pro footballer?

    • July 8th 2016 @ 12:27am
      Chronicle said | July 8th 2016 @ 12:27am | ! Report

      “An effective two man demolition ”
      I must have missed something in the recent series did we win the first two tests against England. The Queensland backline has also leaked a lot of points against the top sides in Super Rugby in 2016. IMO the jury is still out on someone playing in a struggling side which it is sometimes easy to stand out in. Nothing during the recent series screamed must pick and obviously the coach agreed when he made the change for the third test.

      • July 8th 2016 @ 9:55am
        Woodsman said | July 8th 2016 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        “someone playing in a struggling side which it is sometimes easy to stand out in”

        I think you’ve got that completely wrong. Unless your opposition is even worse than you, playing in a struggling team makes it a hell of a lot harder to look good than playing in a team that is dominating.

        • July 8th 2016 @ 10:25am
          Dave_S said | July 8th 2016 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          Pretty hard to draw conclusions either way I think, it also depends why the side is struggling. Reds are struggling because they leak points, not because they can’t score. Kerevi plays outside a better 9 at the Reds than he does in the test side. Kuridrani plays outside the best 9 in Aust SR (Cubelli) but probably gets the fewer attacking opportunities because of the style the Brumbies play.

        • Roar Guru

          July 8th 2016 @ 11:09am
          Train Without A Station said | July 8th 2016 @ 11:09am | ! Report

          It’s easier to look good when everybody around you is bad.

          But the stats that Kerevi returns looking good in the Reds look good compared to the entire competition so it would be unfair to say he looks good because there’s no other quality players that are taking focus from him.

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