With the news that Tohu Harris is locked into a middle role, and Katoa has formed a strong partnership with Shaun Johnson on the right edge, we need to have a closer look at this young up and coming back rower. In short, Katoa gives off strong Isaiah Papali’i vibes, in the way that he is a physical specimen but still learning the game of Rugby League and its nuances, lets hope the Warriors recognise what they have this time!
Katoa burst onto the scene in 2020, averaging 44.1 in 69.2 minutes (0.64PPM) on the edge, before struggling for consistency in 2021 and finding himself playing several games from the interchange, averaging 33.2 from 48.8 minutes (0.68PPM). According to assistant coach Justin Morgan (via Talking League Pod), Katoa has formed a great relationship with Shaun Johnson on the edge, and has focused in on his defense and preparation. If this is really the case, we could very well be seeing another Isaiah Papali’i in 2022.
Moving forward, obviously a 2021 Pap season is the ceiling, but where is the floor? In short, probably his 2020 season if you believe Morgan, plus t/o tackles, which would take him to around 45 points per game, which is 11 points straight off the bat. Given that was Katoa’s introduction to Rugby League, I think there is only upside to be found and he could well be a keeper at the edge position in 2022.