St George Illawarra Dragons prop Sebastine Ikahihifo is enjoying the fresh opportunity to learn new components of his own game which he previously thought was not possible.
The two-time Junior Kiwi representative arrived during the off-season from the New Zealand Warriors and admits he has happily reapplied the learners cap to understand new aspects within his role in the forward-pack.
The Mangere East junior is hopeful of possibly applying his learnings, which include a greater emphasis on ball-playing, against his former teammates in the upcoming pre-season trial fixture in Nelson but at present is focused on perfecting his technique.
“Pre-season is going along really well and I am learning a lot, especially because of the fact there are different systems to what I had previously been taught elsewhere,” said Ikahihifo.
“One example is the style of tackle technique used here, which is more focused on collision hitting and putting the opponent on the ground, compared to back when I was with the Warriors which focused on wrestle.
“Another is forwards here learning to catch long passes as well as doing a little bit more of ball-playing which was unfamiliar to me before.
“Before coming here I simply thought forwards go forwards but it’s been good to have a change of role and be involved in more ball play as well.
“I have been learning this aspect off of Jack de Belin who is a bit of a ball player and runner in his own right.
“It’s good to have everyone involved in training now as each player is pushing the other along which is what it should be all about.
“If I had the opportunity I would really like to go up against my old team the Warriors for the trial game in Nelson and show them what I have learnt so far.
“I know though that decision is not up to me so I will continue to just work hard and try my best.”