“I walked out that evening [from the judiciary] and driving residence I used to be that unhappy I used to be going to cry within the automotive,” Kikau stated. “It was robust figuring out each sport we have been going to play was going to be do or die.
“It got here to the following day and the boys stunned me. They picked me up and have been stuffed with vitality, saying ‘we’ll get you this win and you will be again the following week’. That modified my mindset a bit.
When he blew the whistle it was probably the most relieved I’ve ever been. It was an unbelievable feeling
“I had a chat with the coaches as nicely and so they stated, ‘that is crucial time we’d like you to assist the workforce out with preparation’. That is all I wished to do from there. For them to get that win was massive.”
Kikau is poised for a mouth-watering match-up in opposition to Melbourne’s Felise Kaufusi, who has been a mainstay of the Queensland State of Origin squad for the previous two years. Wayne Bennett is predicted to incorporate him for this 12 months’s collection as nicely.
Kikau may have no consultant rugby league to concern him on the finish of the season as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and was relieved he has one other likelihood to play once more in 2020.
“I used to be all over all through the sport,” Kikau stated. “I used to be up, down … it was loopy.
“When [Adam] Reynolds did the kick and the sport was over all of the boys subsequent to me have been shouting and I used to be simply standing nonetheless wanting on the referee ready for him to blow the whistle. I did not know if the sport had completed or not.
“When he blew the whistle it was probably the most relieved I’ve ever been. It was an unbelievable feeling.”
Kikau could possibly be one in every of 14 Panthers making their first grand remaining look with captain James Tamou, hooker Api Koroisau and bench ahead Zane Tetevano having performed in deciders with different golf equipment.
Storm captain Cameron Smith, conversely, will function in his eighth grand remaining.
“One thing that has caught with me is our assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo got here to me and stated, ‘it is a nice alternative’,” Penrith centre Stephen Crichton stated.
“A grand remaining in my first 12 months … I am so grateful to be part of this workforce and do all of the laborious coaching with the boys. It is good to see it paying off. I do not wish to waste this chance because it will not be the identical subsequent 12 months with just a few boys leaving. Our assistant coach Trent Barrett is leaving.
“I actually wish to take this chance with each palms.”
Sports activities information, outcomes and skilled commentary delivered straight to your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.
Adam Pengilly is a Sports activities reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.