Ah Kuoi ready for Cantab test
Southland Rams player Nick Ah Kuoi says his league team are going to be provided with the ideal indicator as to just where they are at this season when they travel to Christchurch at the weekend.
The Rams will take on Canterbury in the South Island provincial rugby league competition on Saturday and it is a game the Southland players know will be the toughest of assignments this season.
Southland will play a Canterbury team who are favourites to win the South Island competition after 40-plus wins over Otago and Tasman in their first two outings.
Ah Kuoi said his team was aware of the challenge ahead.
"It's definitely going to be the toughest game of the season for us, especially to judge where we are at at the moment. This is the game we have been targeting, we want to win it. I don't think we've actually beaten Canterbury before. We'll just give it all we've got and see what happens."
The backrower is in his fifth season playing for the Rams and said there had been an improvement in competition for team places to when he first started in the maroon jersey.
"In his early days [we] struggled to put a team on the park each week," he said.
Ah Kuoi's love for league started in Canterbury when he moved there to join the army in the early 2000s.
He played for the Burnham and Riccarton Knights clubs during his time in Christchurch and when he returned to Southland he continued to play league for both the He Tauaa and Cowboys clubs.
This season he played a major hand in helping He Tauaa win the Southland club title which included him scoring four tries in the final against Cooks.
Ah Kuoi comes from a league family with his uncle, Fred Ah Kuoi, a former Kiwis representative who played 28 tests from 1975 to 1985 and also spent time in Australia playing for the North Sydney Bears and in England with Hull.
"He was always an idol for me," Ah Kuoi Jr said.
Ah Kuoi, 29, admits the thought of hanging up his boots had crossed his mind. But when he does call time on his playing days he is keen to stay involved with the game through coaching.
- © Fairfax NZ News