Vilikesa Koilagi is must-see TV.
The Eagles' Fijian flyer bagged a hat-trick during Cowra's 36-17 Blowes Clothing Cup victory over Orange City on Saturday, leading skipper Bill Cummins to label his star man "the most talented centre in the competition".
It's a claim that seemed more than fitting after the 80-minute showcase as 'Bill's' fingerprints were all over the red and whites' road victory.
"Mate, he's a brilliant footballer," Cummins said.
"He just keeps surprising us every week. You just throw him the ball and anything could happen. It's nice to have him out there."
It was a Koilagi charge that created momentum for the first try of the afternoon as Cummins sliced through City's defensive line before faking out fullback Henry Bouffler for the game's first five-pointer.
Orange City answered almost immediately as some nifty passing down the left-hand edge led to a Trent Maguire breakthrough. Duncan Young added the extras from the sideline.
Tries show up on the stats sheet, but it was a yellow card that blew the game wide open as fullback Bouffler was shown the cheese for a professional foul in the shadows of City's goal posts.
From then on, Eagles swooped on the home side as Koilagi scored his first after a barnstorming effort that saw him beat what felt like half the Lions' squad. It was only two minutes later when he helped himself to another, darting through the line after some service from Cummins.
Cummins said the fast start his side produced was part of a plan to build on last week's thrashing of Forbes.
"We were pretty fired up to come out and put on a really solid first 20-40 minutes," he said.
"We probably let ourselves down a bit in the first half with some penalties and mistakes. I'm not stoked with the overall performance but it's good to know we can get the chocolates when we're not at our best."
Kieran Bonan was responsible for City's most impressive passage of play on Saturday as the second rower narrowed the gap to 19-12 after charging down a Cowra kick on the half way line and chasing it down before planting it in the in-goal.
With the margin at seven, Traye Hodge spotted an overlap before stabbing a kick across into Terry McLean's bread basket, bringing the scores to 19-17.
From then on, it was 17 unanswered points from the visitors as Koilagi's third sealed the deal.
City halfback Dave McQueeney was disappointed with the outcome, but like many members of the Lions' roster, knows it's only a matter of time before things turn around.
"The results have been really close," he said.
"When we're behind the posts after the other team scores, we never argue. There's no finger pointing.
"We just need to keep turning up and keep the faith in the system we're developing and we will win. Once we do that, it'll get our tails up."
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