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Ngani Laumape starred for the All Blacks against Japan in 2018, now he is storming the Japanese club scene.
Unwanted All Black Ngani Laumape has continued his barnstorming start to the Japanese club scene.
The 29-year-old second-five is proving an unstoppable force for the Kobe Steelers.
He scored three tries in the second round and his rampaging style saw him set up four tries in the Steelers’ latest win in their round three match against Green Rockets Tokatsu.
Japan Rugby League One
Unwanted All Black scores hat-trick of tries, showing his power running.
The 43-33 victory lifted the Steelers to fourth position in the 12-team division one of the Japanese league.
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The Steelers cleverly work set plays around Laumape, but it’s his trademark direct running from broken field situations where he slips defenders with ease and provides clever offloads that is making him a superstar in his new surroundings
There was also some subtlety on display from the former Hurricanes player against the Green Rockets, showing some deft touches with his kicking game.
As the All Blacks continue to talk up the conversion of fullback-wing Jordie Barrett into a test No 12, Laumape gives constant reminders of what they let go with his unique power approach as a specialist midfielder.
Lauamape played 15 tests for the All Blacks between 2017 and 2020, but missed out on being selected for the 2019 World Cup in Japan and became frustrated at being a fringe player.
He played just two tests under coach Ian Foster in 2020 and decided to take his game offshore, signing with French club Stade Francais in 2021.
Laumape scored 10 tries in 22 games for the Paris club but unexpectedly cut his stay there short, negotiating a release from his contract to join the equally lucrative Japanese scene.
His bulk and power there sets him apart.