Sinoti Sinoti wasted no time in showing Newcastle Falcons fans what he is all about, catching the kick-off in Friday night’s debut against Sale Sharks and beating two tacklers with a typical drop of the shoulders.
The fleet-footed Samoan has been shipped in mid-season to help the Kingston Park side find their scoring touch, saying: “If I could just offer some experience to the boys, that would be the main thing.
“Hopefully once I am here a little longer we can get some wins under our belts, and from the quality of guys we have here I don’t see any reason why that can’t happen.”
The 28-year-old felt no need to use his trademark evasion skills when asked the genesis of his name, explaining: “The story is basically that my dad’s last name is Sinoti, and for some reason when I was born he decided to make it my first name as well.
“Maybe he had had a few too many beers in the hospital (only joking dad), but it is fairly common in the Pacific islands for guys to have the same name twice. Over here it seems to be quite unique, but it is just a family thing.”
The latest in a long line of Samoans to grace Kingston Park, he follows in the wake of trailblazers like Pat Lam and Inga Tuigamala, and more recently Filipo Levi, Semo Sititi, Loki Crichton and Tai Tu’ifua.
“I don’t know if it was just me, but I was absolutely buzzing,” he said after Friday night’s 16-8 loss. “It might have been too many espressos, but I was pumped up, big time.
“The weather was not that bad actually – probably the same as it is in Wellington back in New Zealand. I am used to the wind, but it was a little bit stronger here.
“It was good to get my first touch so early into the game, and to have it over and done with. You can just relax and play your own game once that is out of the way, and whenever you come into a new team it is hard when the ball first comes your way.”
Impressed by some of what he saw and seeing room for improvement in other areas, the former Toulon, Castres, Aironi and Wellington flyer said: “There was a good buzz in our team, and you could feel the boys really wanted to play for one another.
“For some reason during the second half we took our foot off the pedal a bit, and to tell you the truth there wasn’t much happening. We could kick it, they would kick it back and we would do the same again without getting any reward. It was a little bit disappointing. As an outsider coming in, and only basing it on one game, the main area I can see for improvement is in the patience of the team.
“There were a few times against Sale that we rushed when we didn’t need to rush. We could have just settled in and got our players in position so we could fully contest, and we made the wrong decisions at the wrong times.
“Execution-wise we needed to do better, and we can’t afford to keep doing this because we will get relegated from this division. As a first experience of the Premiership it is hard to really judge it properly after just one game, but it is a new challenge for me and one I am looking forward to.
“I have always thought the Premiership was more physical – not from experience, but just from what I have seen watching it on TV.
“Partly due to the winter weather here it is all about rucks, tackling and that kind of thing, and I always thought it would be more that way than any of the other tournaments I have played in.”