Some players are not ‘turning up’, admits Misi

Sheffield Eagles' Misi Taulapapa scores a try against Workington Town. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Eagles' Misi Taulapapa scores a try against Workington Town. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Misi Taulapapa could have been in league leaders Leigh’s team against Sheffield Eagles at the weekend.

The 32-year-old Samoan international was a target for the big-spending Centurions at the end of last season but opted to stay this side of the Pennines.

The Eagles have struggled in mid-table this season but Taulapapa, who was born in New Zealand, says he has no regrets about his decision on where to play.

“Leigh came in for me last year and offered quite some money,” he said.

“But I turned it down because I’ve been at this club for five years and I deserve to finish here.

“I’m happy here; it hasn’t been a good season but it’s not over yet.

“I know it is frustrating for fans but believe me the players feel it more.

“Tubbs (coach Mark Aston) tells us the game plan each week and it should be easy if we stuck to it.

“We need to do what we’re told and play hard with the passion.

“It just seems that individuals are not turning up.”

Eagles travel to Leigh on the back of a 32-14 loss to Halifax which has seen them slip perilously cose to the relegation places.

The Centurions continued their march with a 17th straight league win over Dewsbury.

Taulapapa says the challenge is to turn that form around and make a big statement by being the first team to win at Leigh this year.

“There is no pressure and the good thing about us is we love playing at Leigh and we have got a good record there. It’s a great stadium, the field’s quite big which suits us,” he said.

“We’ve had a good team meeting and hopefully we’ll turn up and show our fans what we can do.

“ I know the fans are frustrated but they should just hang in there.

“There are a lots of games left and if we can win them we’ll be up there.”

The former rugby union player added: “This year Leigh have put out some big money to sign players and look like they will be finishing in the top two.

“When you are winning you build confidence and there seems to be a good team culture.”