Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Kiwi World Cup Winner and Saints player Lance Hohaia eyes the prize after toughest year of his career
KIWI World Cup winner Lance Hohaia has enjoyed some good times in rugby – with 29 caps at test level and ten unbroken years at his beloved New Zealand Warriors.
So it is understandable that someone as decorated in the game as the 30-year-old utility player found his second season in England tough going at times.
Having failed to get first crack at the stand-off berth he occupied during Saints’ recovery period under Mike Rush last term, Hohaia found himself flitting between bench, full back, hooker and the halves – rarely playing consecutive matches in the same position.
Injuries did not help and a dip in form left Saints’ marquee import kicking his heels on the sidelines.
But since loan scrum half Gareth O’Brien has returned to Warrington, Hohaia has been able to settle back into the halves this past five matches – and with Jonny Lomax and James Roby fit and firing, Saints have looked much better.
It means that Hohaia can take a deep breath and focus on finishing the season with a flourish.
Hohaia said: “If you ask most people involved with the team they would say that it has been a rocky old year.
“But to be in week two of the play offs and looking to progress a step further to the Grand Final is a good position to be in.
“But for me parts of the year have been really tough. This year has probably been one of the hardest times in my career. Not playing for a while was really tough and I was not sure what that meant for me.
“I am a big believer that if you continue to work hard then good things will happen. “I believe in my ability and whilst I was willing to play as a utility and in different roles it has been nice to be in the one spot and have that continuity of being able to train and practise certain skills that are going to help me in the match.
“One of the reasons I was brought here was to play in that position too – overall, yes, it has been a tough year and have struggled with a few injuries too earlier in the year and they affected my performances too. “Pro sport is a tough gig and it tests your character out at times. I have been in situations where I have had to dig deep – there are highs and lows – but I am happy to be back in the side again, playing well with a good bunch of lads.”
Saints’ and Hohaia’s recent good form face a big test at Headingley on Friday night.
But it is one that the Kiwi international is looking forward to.
“They have some experienced big game players in their side so I have no doubt they will come out ready to play.
“From now until the end of the year we have to play away against some good teams - that starts on Friday for us against the reigning champs which is not an easy feat for us.
“If we want to be the ones holding the trophy we have to play well in other people’s back yards but we are looking forward to that,” he said.
Comments are closed on this article.