Ki­wis first pri­or­ity for Ah Mau

‘‘[There has been] a lot of good stuff but at the same time it’s just lit­tle things like er­rors and

Waikato Times - - Sport - Marvin France

As the War­riors’ only ma­jor sign­ing for 2019, prop Lee­son Ah Mau has a sig­nif­i­cant role to play next sea­son but his im­por­tance has only in­creased fol­low­ing de­vel­op­ments this week.

James Gavet’s de­par­ture to the Knights, added to the re­tire­ment of club le­gend Si­mon Man­ner­ing last sea­son, has left a void in the mid­dle at the War­riors.

The club may even­tu­ally go into the mar­ket for a for­ward to re­place Gavet, who made 19 ap­pear­ances last sea­son, but in Ah Mau it has a man tai­lor-made to carry the load.

Af­ter play­ing two games for the War­riors in 2009 fol­lowed by a twoyear stint at the Cow­boys, Ah Mau has been a main­stay of the Drag­ons pack since 2012 and re­turns to Auck­land on the back of one of the best sea­sons of his ca­reer.

Big and durable, the 28-year-old’s abil­ity to churn through the me­tres post-con­tact stood out as he av­er­aged more than 110 me­tres across 25 games.

They are also get­ting an ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paigner, with 179 NRL ap­pear­ances be­hind him, which has only been en­hanced by his time with the Ki­wis this year.

Af­ter play­ing 16 tests for Samoa, the Auck­land-born for­ward made his New Zealand de­but in the Den­ver test be­fore pro­duc­ing a pow­er­ful 25-minute cameo in last month’s up­set over Aus­tralia.

Ah Mau backed that up with 125m off the bench in the first test against Eng­land al­though he could not pro­duce the same im­pact last week as the Ki­wis con­ceded the se­ries at An­field.

Ah Mau is ex­cited about the prospect of tak­ing his fam­ily back to New Zealand and re­turn­ing to where it all be­gan but his im­me­di­ate fo­cus is on fin­ish­ing the sea­son on the right note with the Ki­wis.

The Ki­wis are re­build­ing un­der Michael Maguire and while they have played well in patches against Eng­land, it is the home team that has dom­i­nated the big mo­ments to take an unas­sail­able 2-0 se­ries lead.


Lee­son Ah Mau will be­gin his three-year deal with the War­riors when he re­turns from Ki­wis duty in Eng­land.

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