“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 powerful figuring out each sport we have been going to play was going to be do or die.
“It got here to the subsequent day and the boys shocked me. They picked me up and have been filled with vitality, saying ‘we’ll get you this win and you will be again the subsequent 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 effectively they usually stated, ‘that is crucial time we’d like you to assist the crew out with preparation’. That is all I needed to do from there. For them to get that win was large.”
Kikau is poised for a mouth-watering match-up towards Melbourne’s Felise Kaufusi, who has been a mainstay of the Queensland State of Origin squad for the previous two years. Wayne Bennett is anticipated to incorporate him for this yr’s sequence as effectively.
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 probability to play once more in 2020.
“I used to be in all places 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 trying 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 considered one of 14 Panthers making their first grand ultimate 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 ultimate.
“One thing that has caught with me is our assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo got here to me and stated, ‘this can be a nice alternative’,” Penrith centre Stephen Crichton stated.
“A grand ultimate in my first yr … I am so grateful to be part of this crew and do all of the exhausting coaching with the boys. It is good to see it paying off. I do not need to waste this chance because it will not be the identical subsequent yr with just a few boys leaving. Our assistant coach Trent Barrett is leaving.
“I actually need to take this chance with each arms.”
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Adam Pengilly is a Sports activities reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.